Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Patience IS a virtue
On the matter of patience, first, I must thank my small but loyal following for being patient with me as lately I've been a bit more sporadic than intended with my blog postings. I set out to write on a weekly basis when I first started this blog; however, I haven't upheld that most recently. The flip side of that is I must also be patient with myself when life gets a little busy and not everything gets accomplished as intended. It will get accomplished eventually, and the world will still turn in the meantime. What a valuable lesson I've finally begun to learn!
Patience has been a focal point of mine for quite some time now, though in varying capacities. When I first got serious about my yoga practice, patience, along with compassion, were two intentions that I often set, seeking to cultivate these virtues by meditating on them and incorporating them into my asana practice as well as my daily life. The truth is, for most of my life, I haven't been a very patient person. It's as if I came out of the womb in a hurry, along with the oh-so-lovely attitude of "keep up or don't bother coming along for the ride". I really couldn't tell you where I was rushing to. But from a young age, I was always very eager to move ahead, get on to the next big thing, start something new. There were times when this has served me well, but there have also been times when my speed racer approach to life has not.
When you feel like your world is falling apart around you and you are stuck beneath an impossibly heavy load of negative emotion, patience is not an easy virtue to come by. It is counterintuitive to want to move slowly through the recovery process. Most of us would probably give/do/say anything not to hurt for a moment more than is necessary. We just can't see the point in being patient in the face of pain. But sometimes the very reason that you are experiencing hurt is to have the opportunity to be patient, to sit with feelings that are uncomfortable and get to know yourself a little better from an angle you may not have previously considered. Inevitably you will gain new perspective and insight into your life, what really matters, the person you want to be. Once that process has run its course, if you play it right, you come out the other side of a more patient person in all circumstances, and you never know when that newly acquired virtue is going to come in handy!
In my case, I had a very hard time being patient while my broken heart healed after the end of my marriage. Intellectually, I could appreciate that I had to walk a certain path to recovery, no matter how long it took, but emotionally, I was drained after a relatively short time, and I just wanted to get on with my life. Thankfully, my life had other plans. It forced me to deal with all of the myriad feelings, good and bad, to ride each high and each low, and ultimately, to really begin to cultivate the patience toward myself and others that had eluded me up until then.
And now for the happy ending. . .
I find myself, in this very moment, in a situation where my patience is required. Someone I care very deeply about needs that from me, and instead of cutting off my nose to spite my face due to an inability to be patient, I am finding it surprisingly easy to give what is needed with all the love in my heart. Do you know how good that feels?!?! I hope so, and if you don't have a similar personal experience to draw a comparison from, when your life lays out a path toward one, I truly hope you will be able to follow it through to the end. It is so gratifying to see a shift in yourself that not only makes you feel good, but allows you to give more fully of yourself to the people you hold dear. This is why we practice yoga or read self-help books or do whatever it is that we do to become better people.
Keep fighting the good fight my friends!