Are you waiting for your life to start?Jul 15, 2022
Over the last few weeks, I have been bedridden due to illness, which gave me many hours to be alone with my thoughts. While watching the 75th episode of Seinfeld, I considered a message I had frequently received through tarot card readings and conversations with my guides. The message I was repeatedly receiving was a question: How could you commit more to your life?
As I considered the question, I remembered many times in my life when I thought, “When xyz happens, I will do that.” I remembered telling myself, I will wait to wear a certain style of clothing until I lose weight, or I will wait to start my own business until I can prove my skills in my day job, and even, I will wait to come out as gay until after my grandparents die.
I noticed how in many scenarios, even if the external circumstances did transform, I almost always continued to live my life as if they hadn’t. If the benchmark I was waiting for was close to arriving, I would often create a new benchmark and push my ability to experience contentment or peace further away.
Why do we put off living our life?
Why would I put off doing things I wanted to do in life, even though there was never any guarantee that I would be able to do what I wanted in the future?
Here are some of the reasons I observed in myself:
- I felt obligated to fulfill a contract: Whether I didn’t want to disappoint or bring shame to my family or I promised someone I would solve a problem; I had a tendency to wait for my perceived contract(s) to end.
- I waited for permission: In some cases there was no clear way to know if I had indeed fulfilled the contract, so I was waiting around for someone or the Universe to give me permission to move on.
- I felt like I needed to be perfect first: I put pressure on myself to reach sometimes completely unattainable goals in order to be good enough to start my life or even feel deserving of what I already had.
- I was waiting for an apology or even to be told that I was right: I might stew on how much someone else screwed me over and set myself back in my progress just so I could continue being angry at them and have something to motivate me.
- I didn’t want to grieve over the part of myself I felt I had lost: In some cases, I was continuing to do things because I felt the role was an important part of my identity that kept me protected or served me well.
Ultimately, in each scenario, I felt like there needed to be harmony or resolution in order to make commitments that would move my life forward in a way that felt good to me. However, in each scenario, I also needed someone else to give me assurance that it was indeed time to move on. Essentially, I was allowing other people to sit in the director chair of my own life.
As a highly sensitive person with people pleasing tendencies, I also know that I've had a tendency to ignore more own intuition and desires in order to fit in or meet other people's expectations. This is why learning to develop and use your intuition is also so important for living your soul-led life in the present moment each day. Rather than judging the parts of ourselves that surrender our power, it's important to get curious about why they exist in the first place. Traumatic experiences, past life experiences, and inherited family patterns can all play significant roles in why you might be waiting for permission to begin living your life.
Are you waiting for permission to live life your way?
Many people might say that if you’re waiting to live your life, the solution would be to just starting living it! It reminds me of a popular Eckhart Tolle quote, “Your entire life only happens in this moment. The present moment is life itself. Yet, people live as if the opposite were true and treat the present moment as a stepping stone to the next moment - a means to an end.”
While there is plenty of wisdom in understanding that life is happening right now in the present moment, it often lands flat when circumstances make it so that we cannot change our life to feel excited about living right now.
As an astrologer, I spend a lot of time talking to people about when a future event might change the circumstances in their life. Sometimes my clients are caring for aging parents; waiting for financial circumstances to change in order to leave careers or relationships; or have chronic illness that they can't magically wave away. There are times in life when we cannot will our circumstances to change or move any faster than they are going to. We can’t think or problem solve our way out of an experience. Sometimes the answer is simply to wait—and that can be the hardest thing to do.
It can be hard to differentiate between truly liminal times when we have no answers and are meant to be confused from times when we do actually know the answer for what must change but we don't want to acknowledge it. It is normal to experience periods in life when we lack clarity and answers, but some of us have a tendency to reject parts of ourselves by saying we don't care when we actually do or ignoring our intuition because we don't want to deal with the outcome.
For me, I can often tell that I'm ignoring a part of myself when I feel like a victim who can't change my circumstances. This is usually an indication that I am dealing with an internal block rather than an external circumstance, because an external circumstance I can logically accept. In this case it can be worth asking if I am waiting for external resolution that may never come.
What I’ve come to understand is that life is indeed happening in the present moment—but the present moment is connected to the past and the future. The past informs the obstacles that we face in the present, and the way that we overcome the obstacles informs the future. In this holistic view of time we can see how unresolved issues—apologies we didn’t receive, contracts that weren’t completed, permission we never got—are informing our present and preventing us from fully committing to our life.
In my work as a past life regressionist and ancestral astrologer, I have seen how people hold onto soul contracts that were resolved many lifetimes ago, but on some level they are still waiting for permission to end the contract and move on with their lives. One of the things I wish my clients could see is the way they put off their life until the next transit when the power of astrology is understanding what you're meant to work with in your life right now and truly face it. Rather than using transits as excuses for why you can't do what you want now or accomplish what you desire now, I wish they could see them as opportunities to grow through the obstacles they're facing. I often see people struggle to feel content in their current life because they are convinced some future event will give them the perfect or ideal circumstances. What this mindset misses is the important work you're doing right now to face unresolved issues from the past that open you to receiving potential outcomes you can't even imagine now.
Assessing What You’re Waiting For
On the one hand, you can’t wait for permission to live your life, and on the other hand, sometimes we have to wait for change or aligned timing to happen.
While external circumstances play a role in times when we are “waiting for our life to begin,” our own mindset also plays a huge role. This was a distinction I had to make when I was recently pondering the question of, “What is preventing me from committing to my life?”
In my case, the problem was twofold:
- External circumstance: I was waiting for a specific life-changing event to arrive and the date was continuously getting pushed back, which made me feel like I didn’t have control over my life. In this case, there were certain things I could not do in my life because I was waiting for this transition.
- Internal mindset: I was mentally ruminating over decisions I’d made or things other people had done to me—all of which were completely unrelated to the unavoidable delay–and focusing on my regret and anger over these things rather than adjusting my expectations and timeline. The more I ruminated, the more frustrated and helpless I felt about the delay.
While the external circumstance of a delayed timeline was preventing me from starting a new chapter in my life, my own mindset was making the delayed timeline much more challenging and uncomfortable than it needed to be. I was attaching meaning and value to the delayed timeline that wasn't actually connected.
When I began taking small but messy steps that put me in the feeling of being in this new chapter of my life before it arrived, I was able feel more present and accepting of my life as it is today.
How to Identify Where You Need to Wait and Where You Need to Take Action
Turning to tools like tarot and astrology can help you discern where you need to wait for something to change and where your own brain is keeping you waiting unnecessarily. I put together a free mini-workbook with a tarot spread and astrology reflection exercise to help you understand where you are unnecessarily waiting in life, why and how you can start taking action where you are able. Get your free workbook here!
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