Fear is not a happy state. Happiness comes from learning the art of patience.
Patience protects us from fear, from striking out and causing more damage.
Patience doesn’t preclude taking quick action when needed; it just assures a wiser course of action.
Patience can’t be bought or forced, but needs to be cultivated, whereas impatience tries to force things.
An example is how I want to get things done faster so that my
to-do list is accomplished.
When I notice myself pushing to get more things done, forcing more activity, feeling as if someone has a stick to my back, I ask, “What am I doing to myself.”
Why must whatever I’m doing be rushed? Of course the voice in my head has lots of reasons, but I pause, put on the brakes and come to a stop.
Just breathe right now. Let this full breath move. I noticing some relaxation and restoration. Then I can regroup and begin again.
What is it that I really desire? To get everything done for ego satisfaction? Or to cultivate the happy life I really am aiming for—one in which I calmly trust my inner guidance to show me what needs to be done next, which is my intention.
Intention and attention. These are our two great powers. What do we intend to go for, and to what are we paying attention?
Jesus used parables of farmers, fields and crops. I think he was showing us how our mind works. We are like farmers planting seeds, sowing and harvesting.
What we nurture grows!
Let’s look at what has harvested in our life at this moment.
If there is conflict or discord, what have we planted and watered?
What are our words? And actions? Do we listen to each other?
Perhaps we are awakening to the fact that we can’t cram our “good ideas” down another’s throat.
Listening to each other takes time and patience.
Are we judging each other good or bad? Judgments declare things to be right or wrong, good or bad.
This is not discernment, which is the true deeper meaning of judgment.
To discern is to see clearly what needs to be done, without making anything or anyone wrong.
Making things right or wrong makes a battlefield of our mind.
When has arguing and fighting over our differences brought real peace? Or made us feel closer to the other?
Look at where we presently are as a nation. Look at what we have harvested. Is a divided nation what we really want?
How are we viewing life right now? Our view makes all the difference as our actions come from how we see things.
Some people call a dark and rainy day “nasty.” But where is the nasty? Rain is rain. Dark is dark. Nasty is a view, an interpretation.
Out of the ashes of life comes new growth.
Mind is the beginning of everything.
How are we going to respond to the conflict and suffering within us and around us?
There is something we can do, but if our doing stems from fear, impatience or anger, it will only create more suffering.
First let us tend to our own wounds, hurts and sadness. As we do this patiently, a way will gradually clear from which we can act.
Something within knows the way.
Let us patiently listen. Let us breathe and wait until something speaks within us that doesn’t come from fear or anger. It may take time, but what do we have to lose?
I have found the phrase “And this, too” is the most helpful first response to suffering.
The phrase “And this, too” cultivates patience. Instead of acting out what I’m feeling or thinking I first absorb and let everything in. I acknowledge all the sensations and thoughts, painful as they may be.
The root word of suffer is “to allow.”
“And this, too” opens something inside me that feels more spacious. I begin to allow myself to hear and feel even that which I don’t like.
This doesn’t feel good, but it gradually, over time, leads to a place of acceptance.
Things can never be changed until they are first accepted.
Gandhi has said, “Make injustice visible, and respond to injustice with non-violence.”
This process can’t be rushed.
A continual practice of patience in our responses allows us to act from our true beingness, which is our real nature. We have to be taught to hate, for it isn’t natural.
When we suffer we have within us a crying child who has been hurt and probably feels helpless. And may even want to act out in anger.
Can we be patient with a crying child?
First comfort the frightened child within. Take time to tend to our own consciousness in a way that heals.
Your child always lives within you and deserves your love and patience. And so do the rest of us!
Let’s practice lovingkindness together.
Something within knows the way.