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Holding Patterns in Our Lives

holding pattern


1. A usually circular pattern flown by aircraft awaiting clearance to land at an airport.

2. Informal A state of waiting or delay; a static situation


Read an interesting article today in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, “How one’s patience and faith are tested by holding patterns” by Cathy Babao-Guballa.

Briefly, the author came to realize a few holding patterns in her life when her plane from LA to Manila hovered in the air for about 30 minutes, waiting for the signal to land.  I, on the other hand, was likewise reminded of the holding patterns in my life after I read her article.

I call these patterns my meantime experiences, a life lesson I learned from Iyanla Vanzant’s “In the Meantime” book.  It pretty much deals with the same concept:  wanting, praying and waiting for something which seems to be taking its time in coming, no matter how hard you have persevered to try to achieve it.

There used to be a time when I would lose my focus, my direction AND my temper when I couldn’t seem to get what I’ve been working so hard for; be it relationships, a specific job or even financial security.

In my rush to get out of my meantime, I end up screwing things so badly that I not only find myself doing a double take but going back to zero; starting down from the muddle again.  It was so exhausting an experience that I finally learned to accept my meantime experiences – or my holding patterns – and waited for the lessons to unfold so I wouldn’t have to repeat learning them all over again.

Now I see my meantime experiences as opportunities for growth, for spiritual renewal, for discovering who I truly am.  I see these holding patterns as one more step that I have to get on and over so I can finally reach the place that I want to go to.

I calmly and patiently wait for the lessons to unfold.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t get hurt anymore or that I don’t have doubts every so often.  What it does mean is that I now know how to find my way back should I get sidetracked through my own misgivings.

And when all is said and done, holding patterns simply made the landing even more meaningful, enjoyable and well worth the wait.

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