Patience is a form of love. It is the letting go of the need to control all that is happening around us. It is the cultivation of trust that all is well even if at the moment, our plans and expectations are not being met as we envisioned that happening. Patience begins with ourselves. We can’t really offer patience to another freely if we can’t offer it to ourselves. We can offer it but perhaps with strings attached or at a price if we have not really embraced patience within ourselves at a deep level.
Often when I work with those who self-report they are impatient in their lives, including myself, the core blocked energy has begun as impatience due to a critical view of ones accomplishments, mastery, self-perceived expertise or skills. There is a deeply held myth that if we are critical of ourselves, we will work harder than if we are complimentary of ourselves. Neither statement is true, in the sense of eternal and lasting because both views are evaluative and therefore not accepting of what is in the present moment.
Here are two contrasting thoughts on the same day by a person before he opened to Peace and just after he asked for Divine Presence in his day.
Damn it, why can’t I ever get my things together and get out of the house on Saturday in an orderly timely manner. One thing after another and I have shot the whole bloody day.
I just can’t seem to focus for some reason today to get the things done I wanted to. I wonder what else I need to be doing on a day like today?
The first is self-judgmental in tone with anger and impatience with self. The second is loving and accepting of what is, with a sense of wonder about what else might be going on.
Impatience is often wrapped up with time stress. If I could just get this last thing done and off my list, I could have a bit more freedom tomorrow. If I could just fit this last errand in, I would feel I had accomplished something. If I could just make time work for me, the way I envision it, I can perhaps get everything done I need to and then I’d be able to relax. As long as we tie our amount of relaxation to accomplishment, we are living in the greater context of impatience. If were were patient and in Right Relationship with time, we could simply look at the clock and say, “Right, time for exercise, this can wait for tomorrow.” Often these decisions are within our own control but we give our power to time stress and impatience.
Impatience is the gap between our expectations and what is.
What if we had no expectations of how or when something might be done? What if we made a sacred commitment to something and let Divine Presence lead us as to when and how that might be accomplished with grace and ease?
When I was 38, I was seriously working my desire to be a spiritual healer. I was enthusiastically consuming two or three books a week. I was devouring all the workshops I could fit in and spending huge amounts of time in Silence. I was also regularly talking fervently to God about becoming a spiritual healer. From this vantage point, I see I was simultaneously afraid I was not going to make it to my goal and also afraid I would get there and not know what I was doing. This was all mixed in with some quandaries about my sanity given that I knew no one going about this like I was. These feeling though I closely held to myself.
In fairness, there were no proven paths to becoming a spiritual healer when I was entertaining this. I did not know where the inner call came from but I did know that I was passionate about it beyond anything I could control. There was however a deep level of impatience with the slow methodical process of gaining skills and confidence in spiritual healing.
The zeal I had for “getting this stuff” was crackling with energy and drive. I loved the high of learing about spiritual healing. So, when I finished my studies, wrote my last paper, was ordained as a minister of spiritual healing, I thought, ” AT LAST, I am ready to go.” Looking back my struggle with impatience though had just begun.
As I worked, I realized how green I was. I knew I was afraid of getting in over my head. I dreaded someone coming in and wanting to work on something I knew nothing about. I kept wondering how is this all going to work its way out? How am I ever going to come in to a place of Peace about this work I felt so energized around?
Silence, silence and more silence. That was the answer for me. I was to sit and sit and sit some more while Divine Presence worked on me. I was to face my judgment head on, rout out my issues, one my one, and continuously name the doubts and fears I was giving my power to. Slowly, slowly, as I would work through a set of issues say around pride, I’d get three clients working on the same issues, no kidding. Everything came in threes. If I had looked at the issues manifesting as sore knees, three clients would come in with the same issues to look at for themselves. This went on for years and years.
Patience, patience, patience kept coming up. I had to systematically and continuously let go of my expectations and embrace what was. When I didn’t, I would routinely hit a brick wall and feel bruised on every conceiveable level. Whenever I would race ahead and wonder, why am I not able to hear what is needed for another? Why am I not feeling connected to this client in the way I want to be? I would crash and burn usually trashing myself in the process. I had no colleagues who could say, good job. I was the ONLY person who could say that to myself because of the isolated and confidential nature of my work.
I had to methodically learn to love myself and in the process give up my impatience with not being perfect!! No one told me this journey was about these things. It just is though.
New week, Part 2 , Calling out impatience within ourselves.