I remember my therapist grinning at my honest response, “not yet.” Struggling with a difficult situation, I sought help to see my world with new eyes. With the smile of someone who knows a secret that you don’t, he added, “Yet is such a hopeful word, full of possibility.”
I had never thought about that. There’s a vast difference between replying, “no, I won’t do it,” and “no, not yet.” I may not be ready, or not know how to do it—yet. And that’s okay.
I tend to be very hard on myself. I consistently demand things of myself that I would not dream of saying to a friend who is in pain or simply at a loss with how to proceed in her life. So it’s no great surprise that I would also assume that I should know everything, and do everything right.
Take learning to live healthy with a chronic condition. Exercise. Nutrition. Learning about drugs. Knowing how to tell my friends or family what’s going on with me. Getting enough sleep or rest—and knowing when to push myself harder. Why do I expect myself to be an expert? Why can’t I allow myself the ability to say, I am not taking care of that now, not yet.
Sometimes all I have to offer is a litany of “not yet”
Lord, I am looking, but I don’t yet see.
I am listening, but I don’t yet hear.
I remember, but I don’t yet get it.
I am moving, but I don’t yet know where to go.
I am seeking, but I don’t yet know how to find you here.
I want to trust you, but I don’t yet do so.
I desire to surrender to you, but I can’t yet let go.
I need to hope, but I don’t yet have it in me.
I come to you with open hands and a heart that still whispers, not yet.
No. Padre Island, Dec. 2010