“Do you know what you want?”
“Then you wait.”
“It’s what me and my buddy say during negotiations when nothing is going on …Annnnnnnnnnd we wait. You wait for what you want to happen, you know what you want, and it will happen you wait for it…with patience and discipline.” I knew exactly what the brilliant labor professional M was talking about it.
During union contract negotiations there’s always this period of time when there is absolutely nothing going on. Parties could be between articles talking back and forth about nothing and going nowhere, typically ending in hours of caucus, where more “nothing is going on” ; a lot of talking in circles. A good mediator will recognize this and read the signs and wait for the right time or trigger to move the situation forward. It truly is an art that M was a master at. What he was also masterful was applying what happens at the bargaining table to real life.
I was in a relationship waiting period. For the first time in my life after marriage, divorce, many dating experiences and great heartbreak, and healing I had figured it out…finally. I knew exactly what I wanted out of a relationship…but more importantly I recognized my deep desire to be in one. And that is a feat in itself. I had learned the values of truth, vulnerability, commitment, and that love gives and in the giving it is received back. I learned that love is a gift, given without expectation of return, it is not conditional, it stays present during all conditions. It stays even when the feeling of love is not present, love is the one unbreakable thing I know of. But heartbreak really is the announcement of love into the world, it is the full realization of love, for in it’s loss you can understand the true depth of it. There are so many other lessons learned that could only be learned by looking at my reflection in the pieces of my shattered heart. But as time has gently pushed me like a wayward child into the present I find that these lessons of my full understanding could not come to me any other way.
As M gently held a space for me to recount my past, mindfully listening, I began to open up again as he validated my experience and reactions to past events. I almost fell off the phone with his direct and witty responses to what seemed to be my perceived epic failure at relationship. He had this amazing ability to validate me and make me feel safe, even when I made a mistake.
But most important was his advice for the time when you are not in a relationship. You wait for what you want, you are disciplined, and you wait. You wait for the man or woman that you have been dreaming about. You stay open and free and know that when the time is right, they will be there for you and you will be there for them.
And so I wait….he’s worth it 🙂