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Soulful Sundays: Timing is Everything

Time is very slow for those who wait,

very fast for those who are scared,

very long for those who lament,

very short for those who celebrate,

but for those who love, time is eternal.

-William Shakespeare

Imagine baking a birthday cake with no deference to order or timing. You haphazardly throw all of the ingredients together, blend them for no particular length of time, pop the concoction in the oven, and hope for the best. Like great baking, developing into a better person takes a tremendous amount of attention to detail, specifically to the elusive nature of time.

The phenomenon of close-calls and I-can't-believe-it-happened-to-me's is ubiquitous amongst humans. Timing can be both good and bad depending on which side of fortune we happen to land. Perhaps, though, good and bad is too simplistic of a lens to capture the infinite scope of existence. Maybe, we need to look at timing in a different way.

Logotherapy, developed by the famous Holocaust survivor, psychologist, and author, Viktor Frankl, is a methodology for helping people find meaning in their lives. Frankl used this method to stay sane during his lengthy internment, and he shared his experience in Man's Search for Meaning. He found that it was not the most optimistic prisoners who prevailed, it was the ones most able to find purpose in their daily toil and suffering. They used the time they were given to help other prisoners, undermine Nazi guards, or work on creative pursuits.

Often times we curse Fate's cruel dealings, and we ignore the gifts she has handed us in exchange. The most important thing to do when our chips seem like they are down is to take stock in what we actually have. For one, we have the time to sit and ponder, and that no small miracle. No one can take from us our learned lessons or our sense of purpose. And what might seem like a disadvantage at first, can always be shifted to its opposite with enough imagination.

It is up to us to rewrite our internal scripts about time. We don't have the power to create luck, but we can be more receptive to receiving it. If and when the right opportunity arrives we can then be alert enough to use it. This kind of patience comes through wisdom of the circular flow of events and also through faith in the ultimate benevolence of timing. Rest assured, if we are doing what we love, then there is always enough time.

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