We live in a culture that is obsessed with time management and other time metrics, especially when it comes to productivity and measuring results.
Seen as the great equalizer, based on the belief that we all get the same amount, time has become the standard unit of measurement for any result we want to achieve or anything in life we want to receive. How does our time compare to other times?
How many hours does it take to read a book? Create a website? Write a blog post?
How long does it take for Amazon to deliver your order? For your food to arrive at your door?
If you’re baking a cake you can predict with virtual certainty when it will be done, at least once it’s in the oven. That’s because the recipe has been tested and there’s a predictable science involved.
If you’re timing from the start of preparing the batter, you’ll get more variance. That’s because some bakers are faster at assembling the ingredients and some are slower. But even then, the range is limited.
Unfortunately, most of the results we want in life are not as clear cut as a cake. If only…
All year we’ve heard varying timelines and theories about the spread of coronavirus: how long it takes for someone to develop symptoms after exposure, how long an infected person remains contagious, how long antibodies last, when the vaccine might be ready.
We are, understandably, eager to put a timeline on all of these elements.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
The virus is a product of nature, taking up residence in the human body, which is also a product of nature.
In nature, clocks and calendars have no power or influence. Nature doesn’t work on linear time.
It’s true that nature does work in patterns, and with enough testing and data, doctors see patterns in exposure, symptoms, and contagion levels that help them make generalizations.
And, as the sample size gets bigger the pattern changes. If you look at a small piece of the night sky, you see some stars. As you expand the field of vision you see constellations.
And even within that bigger field of vision, not all stars fit into the patterns.
When it comes to healing — from a virus, from a trauma, or from any injury — timelines are just suggestions.
Another pattern of nature and life is that what truly matters cannot be measured. Linear time is irrelevant for the most important aspects of life. What is required is creating space.
You can’t rush your healing.