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.)