The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969) defines "to tarry" as to wait until another catches up. I love that there is actually a definition for that time between one end point and the next beginning point. Tarry time is measured by the amount of silence that occurs during the verbal communication of two people.
Magda Gerber created the term "tarry time" for her doctoral dissertation in 1979. She hypothesized that if two individuals are more intensely engaged in verbal activity, there will be less tarry time. She used it to describe how and when we listen and respond to our children. I want to propose that we use the same concept when dealing with ourselves, our SHE. How long do you give yourself to really listen to what you (your body, your emotions, your mind, your intuition...) are saying?
If the length of time you are willing to wait for your inner self to respond is any indication of your level of self-respect, then my guess is it's pretty low. I know it has been for me, until I began to intentionally give myself more "tarry time" when it came to making decisions.
For example, when I awaken in the morning, I have begun to practice running through the different parts of me to see how I really am. Certain parts of me respond quickly while others are slower to respond.
My body is the first to respond. SHE is excited by my tuning into her and announces all her aches and pains with enthusiasm. SHE also tells me if she is hungry or thirsty. As you can imagine, this is helpful information that I might not have received had I not asked for it.
My mind is also fairly quick to respond. SHE is sometimes sluggish, sometimes full of content and sometimes she just wants to go back to sleep. Tuning into her is useful because, when I don't tune, she runs the show without me knowing it. I've heard the phrase "The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master" and it rings so true for me. When I check in with my mind I am able to remind her that I am in charge and that she doesn't need to figure everything out. We are safe.
My emotions are slower to respond and need more "Tarry Time." This probably comes from a long history of stuffing them way down (the exuberance and the anger.) When someone has been ignored it takes them time to trust that they are now really wanted. Giving this part of myself the space she needs has really helped her to feel more confident that I will love her no matter how she is feeling. If I notice that a "negative" emotions is arising I touch my heart with a gentle had and remind her that we are wanted and loved exactly as we are. SHE doesn't need to put on a happy face to receive my acceptance.
And the turtle of the group is usually my intuition. She needs A LOT of "tarry time." But when she does, eventually, come out to play she brings sooo much to the table. My intuition and the emotion fear sometimes look like they are the same part of me, but I'm learning that intuition is actually devoid of emotions. So, if I hear a voice telling me "don't go to that party." I check in. Do I not want to go because I'm scared that they will ask me to dance and I don't like to dance in large groups (in which case it's my emotions doing the talking.) OR is the voice saying, "Don't go to the party because you would much rather stay home and have a quiet night reading a book." In that case, it would be my intuition.
I am a strong advocate of talking to the different parts of yourself in the morning as a way to locate where you are in your body, mind, emotions, and intuition. When you go to a doctor appointment you probably expect to be told what he or she is going to do before doing it, or you might not come back again.
So, how much longer would it take to let all the parts of you know what the plan is for the day and asking for their input? 5 minutes?
So, tomorrow morning I want to invite you to extend your tarry time to yourself and listen, really listen to what SHE wants to tell you. My guess is that the following will happen...