I was astonished at how long it took

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I bought some orchids in a large container about 2 ½ years ago for my birthday at a yard sale. The women explained that they had just blossomed and would bloom again in a few months. She didn’t remember what colors they were, but said they were beautiful. In the past, I had never been able to grow orchids so I wanted to make sure I did it the right way. I was patient and watered them weekly, (for 2 ½ years), but no flowers bloomed.

I had given up on them flowering. Then, one day about a month ago, I noticed the first white orchid blooming and then the second and the third. All in all, there are now 12 beautiful orchids blooming. I was astonished after all this time, that they would start to flower. A couple of weeks later, I noticed a yellow orchid starting to bloom. There are 14 buds on the plant ready to pop.

You might be saying to yourself, “So, who cares about her orchids, what’s the point?” There are probably many things we can learn from this simple story. I could have easily tossed the plants and bought new ones to replace them because I love orchids in my home. How many of us have tossed relationships or jobs or dreams because things weren’t happening fast enough?

The lesson for me about the flowers is about WAITING and not giving up. I didn’t really think about it, but I just kept watering them and accepted that I wasn’t going to get flowering orchids. I didn’t have any expectations of when or if they would flower. I just enjoyed their shiny green leaves.

Like most of you, I don’t like to wait.. I’m impatient and want to know what’s going on NOW. Larry might say that I can be IMPULSIVE and he is right. When I think of something I want to buy or do or go somewhere, I am on it in a flash. I am not a procrastinator and do get things done, so that is a good thing. But, being impatient and not willing to wait or wanting things to go my way causes me a great deal of stress

I have learned to temper that part of me that doesn’t like to wait by going within and asking Spirit “What do I need to do or say in this moment. I often hear, ‘WAIT” and I listen. When I hear “Speak or go or do” I follow through. I have seen a big difference in my relationship with Larry when I listen and don’t jump in and let my ego run the show.

As human beings, I think expectations can cause us undue suffering and pain. We want what we want when we want it and we want it NOW. We don’t trust God’s perfect plan and timing for our lives. We are not able to accept “what is.” We want something different than “what is.” We complain, blame, control, manipulate and try to make things happen. We may try to change people we love, instead of looking at ourselves and what needs to be changed in us.

I stayed in a marriage for 30 years until I could no longer stay and was strong enough to leave. I did all of the above; complained, blamed, controlled and it just didn’t work. I could not accept “what is” and knew that if I wanted to live my life to the fullest, leaving was in my best interest and ultimately in his best interest also. I wouldn’t be where I am today and getting married if I didn’t have the courage to look at myself and what needed to be changed in me.

Life is often about letting go, letting God and allowing Spirit to lead the way. We need to discern and ask Spirit what to do next if we are unhappy or struggling in a relationship or job. We need to discern whether to give up, wait or keep going. Others may think we are crazy, but we know in our hearts what we need to do.

If we want peace, we must follow our hearts, no matter what others think. Where do you need to follow your heart? Where do you need to wait? Where do you need to keep going and not give up?

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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