“You must first have a lot of patience to learn to have patience” ~Stanislaw Jerzy Lec.
It is amazing how many lessons you can learn, if you are open to them. I admire organized people. People who plan, who prioritize, who make lists and assign certain slots of time per day to their commitments. We encourage our students to do that, in order to ensure that they make the most of their day. Many are working parents with much on their plate even before they take the big step of going back to school full-time. My plan is mostly full of good intentions. Life tends to run away from me, I can always find something else that appears at that moment and seems to be more important.
Being able to be flexible and fluid is a luxury that many are not able to afford. Most of us have places we need to be each day, our time is mostly spoken for. And it is amazing how time can appear to be elastic, sometimes stretching out interminably (when we are waiting for a baby to appear, those nine months feel like eighteen!). At others it flies at the speed of light. We know that sixty minutes make an hour, but some minutes seem way shorter than others. And as we get older, the years definitely fly by much faster than when we were twelve, waiting for Christmas!
There are times when life forces you to forget all about your plans; it derails all of your best intentions and parks you on the sidelines. An accident with injuries; a sudden illness; losing a job or a relationship; there are many unexpected events that can have you trying to live with a totally new reality. How do you graciously stop and thank the universe for the opportunity to learn new lessons, to gain new strengths? How do you accept without kicking against the pricks, without looking back and wondering what you could have done differently? How do you stay in the moment, instead of looking ahead and wishing for the next phase of your life to begin?
We do not live life in a vacuum, and what affects one person’s life sends ripple effects far around the world. It is often easier to endure a challenging event yourself, than to watch someone that you love going through it. And when the outcome is murky, and the road unsure, it can test your patience even more. It is easy to say “Let go and let God”, much harder to live it.
This morning’s message is brief, mostly because as usual I have let life run away from me, and my multiple priorities are stacked up in a straight line. And as often happens to me in such cases, I get sick. The mindbodyspirit is one. We are indivisible, and failure to keep things in balance leads to dis-ease. Again, lessons to be learned.
But we only demonstrate that we have learned important lessons when we live them. If you wonder why your patience keeps being tested, well apparently you still need to learn that lesson! If you wonder why you still allow yourself to let life’s stressors get to you, then obviously you are not putting into practice those de-stressing activities, those pauses and breaths that you need to insert.
Sometime we need to stop and take stock of ourselves. What resolutions did you make that have fallen by the wayside? What patterns did you promise you would break that you have fallen back into? Why did you let those daily exercise routines get pushed aside? Why can’t you carve a ten minute meditation session into the early moments before the day gets underway? Why can’t you listen more and talk less?
Reflection is a good thing. It is a way to stop and take an assessment of yourself, where you are right now, where you are coming from. If we don’t do this we may fail to realize that we have made great strides in overcoming bad habits. How many people do you know who beat themselves up for small shortcomings, not recognizing their major achievements?
So this Friday morning, take a moment to pause and give thanks for the wonderful person you are, and the potential you have to be even more. And for those who have had to learn the word patience from the perspective of a patient, I wish you the strength to keep the faith, to truly feel what the prophet Isaiah meant when he said: “Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Have a great weekend Family! And may you be patient with yourself as you learn patience!