There are some lessons that I continue to learn in different ways. Patience is one of those lessons for me. I continue to realize that situations are often lessons in patience. Patience when it comes to waiting for things to unfold; patience in how I react to situations; patience to see change in me and others; patience in dealing with difficult situations; and patience with my own learning. Sometimes I wonder if the lesson continues because I haven’t learned it nor do the learnings evolve as I evolve. I think both.
Anyone who knows my Mom knows that there is a real lack of patience there. My mother shows that impatience in two distinct ways. The first is physical. She taps her foot and squirms, a lot. The look on her face is generally filled with tension and you can see she is disgusted with something. She moves quickly and generally raises her voice in frustration. The second is that she will either do it herself or give up. She immediately uses self- deprecating words as if she is the one who is wrong. She should not have had that expectation, etc. Those are all telltale signs she is lacking patience. As I have evolved, I have learned from watching her. I know I don’t want to react the way my mom does and she can react! I am so much like her at times. I continue to fight self-deprecation and I know I fight myself when it comes to patience.
There is a philosophy that I learned from her because of her lack of patience and that she is married to someone is quite a procrastinator. That philosophy is “do it myself!” I can’t wait for anyone to do for me; I just need to get it done. Now, don’t get me wrong, that has helped me in a lot of ways. I don’t wait. I don’t expect anyone to do for me and I do get things done! I take the proverbial bull by the horns and go get ‘em.
I remember when I was moving into my first home after my divorce. I was buying a little house in the downtown where I could walk into town. I found and bought the house by myself and was so excited. I saw the potential in that little house and couldn’t wait to begin the work. Moving day was blistering cold, December 30th. It was windy, and subzero temperatures. I hired a moving company and had one of my best friends with me along with my parents. The house was an older modified cape cod style home where the previous owners had built a second floor. The stairs leading the second floor were narrow and unforgiving. There was no way to get my queen sized box spring up those stairs. The moving company tried everything. We took closet doors off to back into the hall closet. That didn’t work. We tried to bend, tried to find a way to get up those stairs. Nothing worked.
I quickly asked them to put that bed into my spare room downstairs and continue to unload the truck. As my mother watched, I was on the phone with 1-800-mattress and ordered a queen split box spring and mattress to be delivered on New Year’s Day. That meant 2 days without a full bed upstairs, not an issue. My mom looked at me and said, “you just ordered a new bed?” “Yes, I did.” She kept smiling; I’m sure the proud momma, my daughter, the one who just gets things done. She was impressed with my swift action. This is who she taught me to be. Don’t wait on others, just get it done.
Again, at times this philosophy has worked for me, as it did in the case of the mattress. Of course there are also times when I take the ownership away from someone. My ex-husband was one who I think really struggled with my swift action. He couldn’t keep up. He wanted to do things that I would take the lead on, and told me at one point that I emasculated him. That’s where lack of patience was my enemy.
Now of course this doesn’t equate to lack of patience, but it does tell me a lot about my DNA. I am wired to just get it done, and when I wait for someone else to do it, I am impatient when it doesn’t get done as quickly as I would have done it. No matter what IT is. That is part of the lesson I have been learning over and over. That others may not move as quickly as I do and that needs to be ok. That doesn’t mean I have to do it myself. This one I have learned over time. It isn’t always easy for me. There are times I really do want to jump in, and sometimes I do. But many times I step back, let others work to get something done and therefore exercise some level of patience. I will never be considered a patient person, this I know!
The other part of the patience lesson has been much harder for me. That is the “let it unfold” lesson. Let the universe’s plan play out. Don’t manipulate it. Don’t rush it. Don’t assume. I believe that is the lesson that continues to be put in front of me. The idea that something or someone is put into your life and you may not know all the reasons upfront are sometimes unsettling for me. I have, in my past, made assumptions as to why and tried to move more quickly toward an outcome that turns out not to be the destiny or destination that the universe really wanted for me.
As I think more about that I realize that this means having faith. Faith that the universe’s plan is the right plan for me. That timing is in the universe’s control not my own. I have never had that much faith in the esoteric universe. I have learned through my life to actually only have faith in me. So this is where two lessons collide for me, patience to let things unfold and faith that they will unfold in a way that will serve my greater good. Whew! Two exhausting lessons for me as they show up over and over in all types of ways. Each time to get to a deeper level of either patience or faith.
They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears. 2015 has been filled with teachers around patience and faith for me. I have watched 2 different friends have patience through difficult personal circumstances, and both have taught me about not reacting. That is where my patience, or lack of, comes through earnestly. I react. I sometimes react harshly. I can get angry easily and spout off commentary that isn’t helpful. In 2015, I found that my venting and reactions were done more by myself or with one friend in particular who allows me to be totally me. I exercised patience to the masses, not reacting so much to those who have let me down or pushed a button. That is a big result of continually focusing on patience.
Faith and patience are where I am a work in progress. But I do see progress this year in both of these lessons. I am finally believing me when I say, “I have faith that the universe is working for my greater good. Let things unfold.” And I am focused more on just evolving as a person than making things unfold the way I think they should. If they do not, then there is something bigger and better for me out there!
Faith and patience, my life long lessons.