Do NOT Pray for Patience!

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When I was fairly new in recovery, my sponsor told me that under no circumstances should I ever pray for patience.

While patience is a virtue, she said, if I pray for it, I am sure to get tons of opportunities to practice patience.

Holy cow, was she ever right.

The Patience post I didn’t write

I was mad last week.  I was mad the week before last week.  In fact, anger was oozing out of my pores for no apparent reason (or so I thought!) and even the state of anger made me mad.

I sat down to write last week’s recovery post for Thursday and here’s what I pounded on my keyboard:

“This is a tough post to write, folks, because I’m struggling mightily with anger.  I went to my regular 12-step meeting at noon today and the meeting leader’s topic was one that usually causes people to groan in protest.

“I won’t tell you the word that came out of my mouth when the topic was announced but it rhymes with buck.

“The topic?  Patience.”

That’s it.  I couldn’t write any more words; the flow in my head was jammed by a log or maybe a #2 pencil.  I anguished so much that the post didn’t get finished and I did a rare pass on my posting scheduled (that made me mad too).

Since last week I’ve learned–and accepted–that an angry rant about patience comes directly from my ego.  And the log/#2 pencil jam that clogged my word flow?  GUS (I write about GUS at this link.) doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

A more serene post on patience

“Variety in experience is necessary for our continued growth.”  I believe, as yesterday’s reading in Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women suggests, that my ego is constantly picking at me, sort of like a chicken plucks at the ground.

My damnable ego tries to get me to believe I deserve a less tumultuous journey, one less fraught with difficult challenges. My ego also handily dodges the idea that the measure of my journey’s success lies in how I handle the tumult.

I don’t want to, stomps my seven-year-old self.  I hear you, my 53-year-old self replies in support.  Nor should you have to.  You deserve an easier time.

Pa-shaw!

What my entire self deserves is the ability to really believe in the virtue of patience.  In fact, once I place value on the idea that everything is perfect in this moment, I have arrived on the doorstep of patience.  And I didn’t have to pray for it (Except thoughts can be prayers, but that’s another blog post entirely!).

I’ll leave you with this final thought by David G. Allen on patience, shared recently by a Facebook friend: “Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.”

What are your thoughts about patience?  Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share? Please post it in the comments section below.

And thanks for your continued patience with me!

Photo courtesy of pippalou

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6 Comments

  1. Elle says:

    This is soooo true Beth. Focus or asking for something brings that something to us. Only not in the way we’d like, more in the way of practice, until we’re good at it! I’ve learned this from some slightly bitter experiences.

    One of the best affirmations I made was that I was willing to learn through joy. It works well, most of the time, and I’ve discovered includes all manner of things I might not have expected such as patience, and tolerance for myself and others and even situations.

    I really enjoyed your reflections here Beth.

    • Beth says:

      Oooohhh, I like that Elle! May I quietly borrow, “I am willing to learn through joy?” Sounds like a universal calmer-downer.

      Thank you, Elle, for your sweet words. Means a lot.

  2. OMG! I needed to hear this. I might need that meditation book as well!

  3. Suzie Cheel says:

    Awesome Beth,
    Patience has been a big teacher for me and also a great healer and something that gives me inner peace when I accept that I have made the shift of accepting patience really is a virtue
    namaste
    Suzie xx

    • Beth says:

      Hi Suzie!

      I love the idea that patience can heal and bring inner peace. You’re right–getting to that level of acceptance is a virtue. Not many reach that ability, so kudos to you!

      So glad we’re playing on the same team!

      Thanks for stopping by to “chat.”

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