April 13, 2011

Patience and the virtue of Awareness, Acceptance and .... Waiting

I just love the reading in today's Courage to Change. 

And it addresses something that was brought up in my last EA meeting: Patience. 

I agree with the authors, that to want an immediate solution to a difficult situation is quite human.  It makes me laugh to imagine praying for patience. Imagine saying, "God, grant me patience--and hurry!" 

I've been interacting with my problem family member lately.  I see her in the next paragraph.... "Do I have some discomfort or a problem in my life? Let me fix it, or be rid of it now.   It is situation I've lived with for twenty years...  Fine, I will give it 15 minutes. Perhaps I've lived with it all my life--well then, I will give it an hour, maybe even two."  Yes, that is my family member. And forget taking responsibility. She thinks that is my job. 

Now let me ask myself: "Is my problem  connected with my family of origin issues? Do its roots run really deep in the ground of my being? In that case, I'll make a few program calls and share (whine) at a meeting.  Is [that cursed problem] still hanging on? Very well, I'll l'll launch a major campaign of self-criticism. What's wrong with me? Why do I have all these feelings about something that isn't important? I'm sure I caused all this myself, somehow I am to blame!"

Yes, that could easily be me. Old familiar neuroses, that thankfully today I can laugh at.  But, seriously, I think I have learned a wee bit of patience lately. And for that, I thank this program. 

I have surrendered my family member. It took over a year of practice.  I have prayed for guidance. And today I find myself practicing awareness and acceptance before I attempt any "quick fixes."

I no longer take my willpower out in order to bludgeon the problems of a lifetime. I heard today in my Al-anon meeting that sometimes prayers are answered by waiting.  In the meantime, I am putting the following quote up by the phone, in case I need it:

"You cannot create a statue by smashing the marble with a hammer, and you cannot by force of arms release the spirit or the soul of a man." Confucius

(Adapted for personal use from Courage to Change in Alanon.)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you!
    Working with/on my own neuroses in a similar situation.
    Just copied your quote to leave by the computer tho to remind me that I really AM acquiring tools other than my go-to hammer.


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