Does everything have to be pushed to a head…right now? This second? Immediately? Does there have to be a decision right here, immediately? Or soon, at least? Make it black or white. Make it stay or go. Make it happening, or not.
I’m the queen of this. I will blow things up, sometimes prematurely, sometimes with force, sometimes with risk, so that I know. Or at least, that’s what I think I’m doing at the time. I was simply getting the answer sooner. I was seeing the light quicker. Why waste my time? Why not just KNOW? It shows up in forcing conversations. In asking pushy questions. In showing up at their door in another country, unannounced. In expediting answers.
But what I see when I look back on all of that is not wisdom and confidence in facing the truth, but a desperation for certainty. I was forcing clarity (yes, clarity can be forced). And while I may have received those things – clarity & certainty – in one way, that’s just that, they were in one way – my way. There wasn’t much space for the magic of time, or the respect of another person’s process.
Do we need to do that? Do decisions need to be decided? Sometimes, but I believe not always. Because situations can change. Because people can evolve. Because we grow. So if we cling to getting an answer, now – we may sure as hell get one, but it’s most likely the answer that comes from an answer’s sake. Rather than sitting in the situation, wading through the commitment, and seeing what insights we can get from sitting in it, rather than from running in a specific direction because of it.
Or, as my sister said to me after a recent situation I wanted to “decide” around rather than live through, “Let it simmer without a boil.” A(wo)men. Not everything has to be a decision right then and there. Not every choice is meant to be made now. Not every direction is agreed upon.
And here’s why. Because often we’re making that decision we’re clinging to… to try and avoid future pain. To avoid uncertainty. To try and play our cards right now to win the game seven hands out. If we do that, sure, it’ll give clarity for right now because we’ll have avoided the possibility of what happens then. But we also miss the possibility of what happens then. We might win big! We might not. But if we don’t sit in the simmer, because we’re not sure where or how it’s all going, then we rob ourselves of either potential outcome.
A lot of good shit can be made in the simmer. Later decisions become more informed because we had more time to sit with it. And the outcomes are completely altered, because we gave it a chance by absorbing the information only retrieved by being in it rather than by deciding about it.