For something so pervasive, time is a slippery sucker.  Or perhaps we just don’t know how to be with time.  It’s one of the main ways in which we trip ourselves.  The situation isn’t what we need or even good for us, it’s a failure from the outset, it was misrepresented or we misunderstood what we needed, but we stay anyway.  We stay too long and then feel that time has run out.  Or we think we can do things in a much shorter time frame than is realistic.  We think we can heal faster, adjust quicker, decompress easily and find that it just ain’t so.  We think we’ve put in enough time and so we move on, then fear that if we’d just held on one more moment it would have all changed.  Which is sometimes true and sometimes not.  How can we know?  Well, why should we?  The important thing is how do we feel?

Knowing is about logic. It’s math.  It’s certainty and repeatable outcomes and predictability.  It’s the clock that marks out the moments in increments.  But life isn’t predictable, it’s rarely regular, nothing about it is certain and repeatable is debatable, just ask a scientist and a philosopher.  Actually that sounds like a joke I hear recently. A scientist, a philosopher and a theologian walk into a bar…  Anyway, knowing tries to make things easier, giving us control.  The funny thing is, it can’t.  Knowledge is power, but it isn’t the wisdom to use that power and it isn’t the morals and ethics to know why to use that power and it isn’t an emotion that tells you whether you need or even want it.  It’s a tool, but only one of many.

Instead look at how a situation makes you feel.  Feelings tell us when its time to keep fishing or to cut bait and leave.  Feelings tell us when something is good for us or not.  Feelings tell us when the fight is worth fighting even though we lose again and again.  As Chris Hays said yesterday, we often think of change as a linear struggle, a series of events that lead us to the goal.  But I think it’s more like opening a jar with a lid that’s stuck.  You try and you try and it doesn’t budge.  You put it down and walk away and come back and try again.  You give it to someone else to try and nothing happens and then you take it back again.  And then something happens.  There is finally that little bit of movement and the lid comes off.  Healing can be like that, frustrating as that is.  Relationships not so much. We need patience so we spend enough time to get the job done, to know when it is done and when we need to keep going.  We need to listen to ourselves and how we feel to know when we’ve spent enough and we shouldn’t give one more second.  And we need common sense to do what’s right for us in any given situation.  So here’s to patience, to righteous endings and common sense.  Is that the sound of another jar lid coming off?