The Trouble Is… We Think We Have Time

we think we have time

By Elzbieta Pettingill

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

The trouble is — you think you have time  ~ Buddha

Why do we believe we have all the time in the world to change?

I don’t know how old you are, but I’ll be 37 years old pretty soon. Still young, right? If everything goes well, I’ll be on this planet for another, perhaps, 40 to 50 more years? Life expectancy is pretty high these days, and we all expect to arrive at an age of, let’s say, 80 years. But how much time is 80 years, really? If we think of it in terms of years, it might seem an eternity to us. Especially when we are at the very beginning of that number, when our journey on this Earth has just begun.

But what if we looked at it from a different perspective? What if we stopped thinking in terms of years? We know that 80 years, in most parts of the world, is made of 80 springs, summers, falls and winters. Wow, this means we are here on this Earth for only 80 summers! And that’s if we’re even lucky to live that long. Can you imagine… our entire life contains such a short number of seasons? Is 80 summers or winters really that much? Doesn’t seem like it, does it, when we look at it this way?

So if Buddha was right – and we only think we have time – we might indeed be  in trouble here!

In our illusion, do we believe we have more time that we actually do? So why wait then? Why do we want to keep postponing the inevitable changes that have to take place within ourselves? Why do we keep resisting with such stubbornness? Or keep kicking and screaming, trying to avoid the discomfort that comes with such change?

I don’t know about you, but I’m done with kicking and screaming. I am ready to  be  who I  really  am, my authentic self, and I am ready to live in such a way now. How about you?

Your Authentic Self

Living your authentic self means consciously committing to the new you, committing to always being forgiving, accepting, compassionate and loving, committing to the Truth, committing to feeding the part of yourself that has understanding for everything and everyone, instead of feeding the ego.

It isn’t easy. Trust me, if anyone knows how challenging that can be, it would be me…

My ego had been bruised so many times it’s not even funny. But each bruise assisted me with liberating myself from the grasp that the ego had on me. Each pain and each hurt was nothing but a true blessing. It brought me that much closer to remembering who I really am, — who we all are — and thus it brought me to a realization that the hurt – the harm – is  not  real!!!! That harm is only an Illusion, like everything else in this physical world. If we see beyond the Illusion of the 3D world, we see that there is nothing else but unconditional love! We see that each and every single one of us is made of such love. Our fear, our anger, and even our hatred is not real. It is pretend. It’s only a game that we play with each other. On a deeper level, on that level of total awareness, in which we remember who we really are, fear, hatred [insert here any negative or painful emotion you wish] simply does not, and cannot exist! Unless we allow it.

How liberating is that?

I would understand if you start shaking your head right now, while saying things like: “Yeah yeah, it’s all very beautiful, isn’t it? But you don’t know what it’s like to be me and to live my life…”

Well, no I don’t. But I have experienced abuse, rape and a lifetime of depression. And through those experiences I have come to realize that none of it is insurmountable.

Choose to Understand: Love Thy Enemy

Don’t get me wrong. Just because I have come to recognize the Illusion does not mean that that bad things don’t happen to me anymore, or that I don’t get affect by them.

Just recently, my husband had told me that he wants to divorce me. I agreed to sign the papers. I agreed to move on without resisting the unwanted situation, and without putting up a fight. Of course this isn’t the first time the two us have had the ‘divorce talk’. Discussions that led to considering such possibility have been brought up by both of us in the past. Somehow we’ve learned to endure the hardships brought by the institution of marriage, and we’ve learned to deal with it while always trying to do our best.

Still, does it hurt to feel rejected by someone who you love and with whom you planned to spend the rest of your life? You bet it does! Is it painful to know that the person you’ve been the most intimate with doesn’t want you around them anymore? Of course it is! Have I been tempted to nourish my negative, sometimes self-destructive thoughts, such as “obviously I’m not good enough”? Yes, I have been… many times.

But I understand that the only person I can change is me.

Fortunately, in these situations, we have a choice. We can decide to be bitter, vindictive and full of anger (hatred) … or we can chose to be understanding and compassionate instead. Ultimately, only we can control  our experience, and no one else. And that knowledge – that I can determine my own thoughts, my own emotions – is all that I need.

So I chose understanding. I understand that the reason my husband could not love me the way I expected, and hasn’t felt loved by me the way he expected, is not because we did not love each other. It was because we did not know how to love ourselves! It was because we were looking for the love outside of ourselves — in a partner, where it doesn’t exist. We failed (both of us) to look for – and to depend on – the love that comes from within ourselves, and within ourselves only.

This understanding allows me to see the pain that my husband feels, and it allows me to understand how such pain made him arrive at a decision to go our separate ways. I cannot hate him for something he has no control over, since he cannot see it. I can only be grateful for everything he gave me, and for everything he taught me about myself. I can only be grateful for the time we’ve shared together, which played the major role in my overcoming of depression. Without him next to me it would have been a lot harder, if possible at all, to heal from my chronic depression; to find liberation, and not just from depression, but on the spiritual level as well.

He’s been there for me in more ways than he even probably recognizes. He’s been there to assist me with waking up, even though he hasn’t realized that yet. In that sense, he gave me more than I could ever ask for.

I just had to see through the Illusion to realize it.

What Are You Waiting For?

Don’t reject the circumstances in front of you. Embrace reality. It is always there for a reason. Embrace your life’s challenges and love them with all your heart! Embrace every single aspect of the magnificent being you are. Celebrate  all  your differences, and  all  your imperfect characteristics. Dance with them! Smile at them! Give them a hug! They need it. They need your forgiveness. They have been waiting for ages!

Do you care what others will think of you if you stop trying to fit in? If you start dancing on the street? If you tell it like it is? If you stand in your truth?

Embrace the fear of being judged and not accepted. Be different! Be unique! Be yourself! There is no better, more liberating feeling than being true to yourself.

So what are you waiting for? Do you think you have all the time in the world? Embrace your reality and your most authentic you. There is no other time than now.

Previous articles by Elzbieta:

About the author:

Elzbieta PettingillNow residing in Honolulu, Hawaii, Polish-born Elzbieta Pettingill is an author, former fashion model and survivor of depression. She suffered abuse and rape in her childhood, and was subsequently diagnosed with a depression that followed her from childhood through to adulthood. Let down by the medical and psychological establishments, Elzbieta finally realized that only  she  could change her  mind, and finally overcame her depression in her 30’s through a process of conscious spiritual awakening.

Elzbieta’s story forms the basis of her book:  “Life Realized”  –  available now on

You can also connect with Elzbieta on her website or on Google Plus.


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