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The truth about patience

December 14, 2014

Isn’t it always the way when things aren’t moving along at a pace we’d like or situations don’t exactly fit an image or expectation we might have, someone will come along and tell us that patience is a virtue?

I expect that is true.

I also remember when I was very young in sobriety I had a sponsor who suggested that I pray for patience at night.  When I did I had a realization that all around me things were happening to “test” my mettle and provide me with the opportunity to practice the patience I had been praying for.

I stopped those prayers.

I am not saying that I cannot or will not be a patient person, that could not be further from the truth.  I am, however, looking at the concept of “being” patient as a practice and then recognizing it (along with so many other things we encounter in life on life’s terms situations,) as a crossroad for change or a sign for taking an action.  This isn’t to say there is no time for simply being patient.   Life doesn’t always need to be about instant result.  What it does indicate is that patience can sometimes be a method for avoidance and procrastination, or even giving up, where it is entirely possible the very reason patience has become necessary could be a sign for shift of thought, mind or activity in one’s life.

Now I realize that makes me sound somewhat impatient.  It isn’t very spiritual to proclaim that something taking too long,  not going your way or situations not meeting your expectations are meant for taking up silent arms and pushing forward in new directions.  Radical thinking at best.  This isn’t necessarily always the proper method or way to think.  No two situations are really alike.  There are times when I do very simply need to stop, smile and breathe as the name of this blog would indicate.  Other times, however, not so much.  These other times I may actually benefit from the realization that the patience being asked for is a road sign for consideration of possibility and adjustment towards a different and possibly a better solution.

Patience is also a very important instrument of practice when it is time to move yourself through something that is going on in your life.  I have often learned the hard way that cutting my way out of something when it requires I work my way through it in order to fully resolve is only going to doom me to re-living the process again and again until the lesson it is there to teach is properly and completely learned.

That requires patience.  Sometimes the lesson simply takes time.

But patience can sometimes be the very thing that teaches me that the process of waiting for something could be the very thing showing me I am no longer really in need of whatever it is I am attempting to be patient about.  What if I am to see my mind or feelings change because I am being held back from a result or answer I am waiting for?  Is it not possible the very fact I am not getting what it is I am being asked to be patient about, could be the universe (or my God) telling me that I may not actually need or want it in the first place?

Is, then,  the need for patience, possibly a signal for evaluation and a wake-up call to look at the world through contemplative thoughts and eyes?  Perhaps a nudge to an inventory of the situation or the path I am walking as a whole?

I know, that’s deep.  But is it not possible I am overlooking the very signs I always ask for when I am not paying attention to the point or questions the need for patience is insisting upon?  Isn’t it likely that sometimes the purpose of patience is just to reflect?

My life currently feels as though it is in a hallway (an analogy i’ve both used and heard for years for asking the questions,  seeking a purpose or next indicated step or direction.)  I am cognizant that the hallway IS where I am and I don’t want to second guess current moments with future tripping or wishes for what I believe are things that may “fix” me or help me out of what I seem to be experiencing now.  What I am experiencing is a classroom.  Life on life’s terms.  I am in it and I see it as an extraordinary experience personal growth, betterment and knowledge.  It is not always comfortable to have challenge all around and current terms have been somewhat emotional for me as well.  In all these feelings I seek to find answers and this is where I am reminded that patience is my key.

But in this patience I am also accepting the need to move on.  The patience I am practicing is illuminating the differences from what I have believed or valued up until recently and what I am coming to the conclusion about pertaining to the end of the hallway I am in.  Each day, each moment will be carefully monitored so as not to miss the gifts within them.  In this situation, patience (and all I feel it entails) is most definitely a virtue.

Stop. Smile. Breathe.

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