There is More to Patience than Patience Part II

I didn’t make it.

When I decided to commit to approaching every task with kindness, gentleness, and care, and to thanking each person for their contribution to my highest future to bring myself to patience, I did not think it would really be difficult…but it was! In the morning, as I was preparing for my day, I could see myself pausing a moment prior to a task, breathing, and thinking, “kind, gentle, caring…” and I could see myself just quickly saying “thank you” to someone…anyone…everyone. These things are not hard, they just require remembering to do them, right? No. Not only is there more to patience than patience,  there is more to practice than just remembering to do it.

I remembered but could not do it.  I could not bring myself to think kindly, gently, or caringly about tasks that are imposed by someone else (the nature of working at any job), or to thank the people who impose those tasks, or anyone else. After all, these tasks, these people, they are what are keeping me from the future I want NOW!  As I mentioned, these are precisely the things I am resisting. But I as remembered I had committed to practicing, every part of my body tensed up. I could barely breathe and my mind could not even convince itself, “C’mon, just ‘thank you’”… “NO! I don’t wanna”… “Acknowledge, you can do it” … “NO!”.

That’s a bit of a conundrum. What to do, when the practice to overcome the resistance meets with resistance greater than the original resistance? I could not focus; my emotions were “abuzz”. I was tense, tight, barely breathing. What’s going on here? All I could do, ALL I could do was my good old standby, the repetition of “Om Namaha Shivaya” because I knew that I had to do something so I would not remain in this new state of resistance. But it did not feel like it was helping. What was this resistance to overcoming resistance? I am usually a lot more willing. After all, wasn’t I the one who decided to overcome the resistance in the first place? Why was I fighting myself?

Even now, I am not through this resistance. I can still feel it, as tightness in my chest and difficulty catching my breath.

I did get some insight as I was driving home continuing as best I could with the japa-mantra when I had one of those “ah-ha” moments that is more like a “DOH!” than a “DUH!” The thought was, “YOU ASKED FOR THIS!”.  Yes, the thought yelled at me and I thought, “OMG, I did ask for this.”

But what was true about this? What did I ask for that I had not been seeing? And if I asked for it, why am I resisting? Why is it creating this emotional and physical stress and discomfort?

“Duh”…I’m resisting a new future.  Wanting a new future means I need to change. My life needs to change. Everything will change. For how much I embrace change, welcome change, want change, understand change…apparently it still is capable of scaring the hell out of me.

I have given my “new future” new parameters. They are freedom and peace; greater peace in that stillness and quiet of rightness beyond question; freedom that is joyful and expansive and exhilarating.  Getting there is a little scary because I do not know how to do it, I just know this is what I want; freedom and peace are my standards.

When I realized all of this, I came back to where I started: patience is about trust. The future is borne out of now. I have to trust in my Self (who Knows) the future, and when I don’t, I need to forgive myself for not doing so.  I need to wait and listen ( ) (all also part of patience).

My new practice to get through this is telling myself:

∞      I place my trust and my future in my Self who Knows.

∞      I listen for the quiet voice that directs me

∞      I forgive myself for now

∞      I wait and take no action

There is More to Patience than Patience Part I

As with most feelings or complex concepts, patience has many components; most, if not all, of which are contextual. The patience of understanding ignorance or inexperience is different than the patience of waiting for someone to count out exact change at the register when you have already been in line for 10 minutes and they are just now digging through their purse or pocket. The patience of understanding someone’s quirks or forgetfulness because of medication or physical state (like Alzheimer’s) is different than the patience of a teacher watching someone struggle to grasp a concept, but not so very different than the patience of understanding there are things a child just does not yet know.

Today, patience is about trust.

I have been unsettled—impatient. “I want the life of my future and I want it now!” I have not been trusting in that where I am, is where I am supposed to be; that where I am, is this step to getting me there. It is easy to talk about “the journey”, but accepting the steps as they come and actually trusting the process requires attention and practice.

Not accepting this step means resisting this step. I have not been trusting in that the people in my life are helping me. It has been very easy to think others do not have my best interest in mind. If they are not helping me, they are hindering me. And that has turned (in my mind) to thinking and feeling  other people are resisting and thereby preventing me from getting what I want (that future). When really all they are doing is just supporting me, in my own resistance.

But I want to trust more than I want to resist. I know that at least. It’s one thing to see the resistance and see how it plays out in my daily activities.  It’s another to stay on top of it, to deny it, to intercept it, and not let it affect my work and my relationships.

I am taking two approaches today. The first one I am projecting inward, the second I am projecting outward.

1) Every task today is enormously important. Everything I do, I will do with the care and attention of bathing a child: support (no slipping in the water!), gentleness, care, and kindness. Every task matters; every task—as a step on this journey—is so very, very important that each moment must be approached with the love and attention I want to bring to the outcome.

2) Every person I meet is my ally and my cheerleader. Today, each person I encounter will be acknowledged as contributing to my highest future and will be thanked accordingly.

Staying “in the moment”, or in Eckhart Tolle’s framework, being in the now with each task, each person, requires patience—and trust.