The most valuable lessons
I have ever learned in my life!
patience is a virtue.
But what it really is,
is a practice."
-- Albert K. Strong
Well, sure, patience is a virtue. And, absolutely, I have found that patience is a practice--a very worthy practice. And, in actually playing in that practice, I have found patience to be even more. Patience is peace. It is love. It is kindness to ourselves.
When I look into my memory banks, I can see that patience was a foreign idea to me and that if anything, I was quite an impatient person. At the grocery store, I would be so busy with negative thoughts about why they didn't have enough cashiers when it was time to check out, how slow some of them were, and more. I had those thoughts where ever I shopped. Waiting in line was something I was constantly trying to avoid. Let's get on with it!
Then I read, Love Is Letting Go Of Fear, by Gerald Jampolsky. He said that we are trying to juggle so many things and that he chose one goal in his life that allowed everything else to fall into place without even having to think much about it directly. That one goal was peace--peace of mind. He wrote, "Peace of mind as our single goal is the most potent motivating force we can have."
Impatience is fear. It doesn't seem that way on the surface, but that is what it is. As Gerald says in the title: Love is letting go of fear. And, so also, Peace is letting go of fear. Peace is the same as love. It has the same vibration. Peace is also the same vibration as appreciation, joy, and freedom.
I took the message of this book to heart and began practicing letting go of the fear that was underlying all that impatience, disappointment, and distrust, and replacing it with a sense of peace, love, patience, kindness, joy.
I began where I felt the most impatience: when I was driving. I used to get so upset with all the idiots on the road. My father used to do that too. I'm sure that's where I learned it; although, I perfected it on my own. So when someone made a stupid move where I could see it, I decided to say something like, "Wow! That was interesting! I wouldn't have thought to do it that way. That's really a different way to do it." I did it when I was alone and when my wife and/or family, or others were riding with me. It began to be fun. I enjoyed it. I was looking for silly moves so that I could compliment them on it. It was a great game.
Then, I tried having patience in the stores, and in every other place I would have been impatient. Sometimes I was gritting my teeth as I was practicing, but that didn't really last very long. It became so much fun, that I changed my whole outlook. Cashiers would say, "sorry for the wait," and I would say, "It allowed me to practice my patience, and I can use all the practice I can get! Thank you!"
Now, after many years of practice, I find very little that causes me to even have any impatience, or if I do, I am not so aware anymore. Now it is a habit to find people to appreciate, to have thoughts of love, to enjoy my practice as I wait in line, or in the "waiting room," or wherever my practice takes me. And, I feel the peace of this. I feel the love of it. I feel the freedom of it. I feel the kindness that I have poured on myself by it.
Peace Is A Most Happy Place.
Spread Some Joy Today--because we can and it feels good. That's all the reason we need.