For most of us, it’s doesn’t seem natural to delay gratification. A common response to waiting is impatience or anger.
In life, we experience trials or losses. It’s part of the territory – the cycle of living and dying of our temporal existence.
In psychotherapy, as in life, a lot of waiting periods takes place.
The ability to wait determines whether a person is truly accomplishing something, and expanding the hours in front of him.
Dr. Irvin Yalom, a renowned psychotherapist, once wrote in his book “The Gift of Therapy” about this virtue in Abraham Lincoln who … “is reputed to have said that if he had 8 hours to cut down a tree, he’d spent several of these hours sharpening his ax.”
Every passing day as we wait to get what we want, we can choose where our emotions take us.
We have two options.
We have the option to let the waiting shape something good into our inner being. Good things, such as faith, hope, love, resilience, perseverance, or resourcefulness.
Or, we can take the option of taking matters in our hands impulsively — log on the fires of self-indulgence, resentment, impatience, and unthankfulness.
Surely only one of these two options will bring us true joy and fulfillment.
The psalmist describes this kind of waiting, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage, wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14).