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Why I Won’t Be Praying For Patience

Why I Won’t Be Praying For Patience

 

I stopped praying for patience a long time ago.

Seriously. No more.

I used to pray for this virtue in some kind of misguided attempt to become a sweet, quiet, and utterly patient pile of grace.

The polar opposite of the fiery mass of intensity that I more likely lean towards.

I should be more patient, I’d think, during these moments of WTF, biting the inside of my cheek to blood sometimes, considering how I might actually crawl out of my skin before I become documented proof of spontaneous combustion.

Eventually, I realized that praying for patience did a couple of things for me:

  1. It made the insides of my cheeks hurt all the time. (Brutal.)
  2. It brought all kinds of patience-based learning opportunities my way. (A euphemism for “things got really fucking annoying.”)

I’m impatient. It’s just a fact. Maybe it’s a flaw. I’m impatient with myself, with my son, with the person talking too long to the barista about the weather, inputting passwords always, and other minutiae. Things drive me crazy, and I want my life and problems to be all Solutions and Clarity by yesterday.

My lack of patience has made me impulsive. My lack of patience has made me snippy and rude. It has made me hasty.

But, it has also made me brave.

It has taught me boundaries.

I’ve been wholehearted more times than I’ve been halfhearted.

Sometimes I leap at just the right time.

I’m not making excuses. Or suggesting it’s okay to walk around the world sighing audibly so the cashier will move along, or tailgating people, or shaking fists. I’m not even suggesting it’s good for you to get yourself all riled into a cheek-biting tizzy at all. (It isn’t good for you.) A commitment to kindness – to yourself and others – always wins.

I am saying that when you get sick and tired of trying to amputate the parts of yourself that aren’t the embodiment of perfection, there are alternatives.

You can reframe and redefine them instead. You can work with, instead of against, yourself. You can figure out how your impatience can be impetus for your progress, and use it constructively instead of destructively.

For example. If you are habitually sighing audibly in line at the coffee shop… You don’t have to stop feeling impatient to stop being a dick.

You don’t even have to stop feeling impatient to make a whole other choice. Like choosing to think of something else, or breathing.

And furthermore, you can even use your impatient feelings as a trigger for you to remember to be kind instead. Groundbreaking, I know. But what if feeling impatient was the reminder to say something nice to someone, or do that whole pay-it-forward-by-buying-the-next-person’s-drink-thing?

I got a free cappuccino that way the other day and my heart is still a puddle.

See, the fundamental change needed is not as much in who you are, it’s in how you choose to act.

Or, perhaps, that you are in fact choosing your actions.

It takes an ability to take an unflinching look at the way your behavior is debilitating or hurting others, and then being smarter than your habits.

It takes having coping mechanisms that allow you to be responsive versus reactive in these situations, so you can make best case scenario choices.

Creating an environment of vitality and health, maintaining a strong and flexible body, and a clutter-free living space is an excellent launch pad for your access to free agency, setting you up for coping mechanisms galore. An environment that is capable of containing all the things that you are. Even the parts that might seem less desirable. It’s important work, acceptance as well as integrity.

It’s important to also remember that, sometimes, a thing like impatience just is what it is. And can even be righteous and warranted.

Sometimes the greatest kindness is full blown impatience with, say, injustice or bullshit.

I adore what Meryl Streep says here:

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism, and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me, and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty, and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”

Hell, yes, Meryl. Hell yes.

So, here I am, feeling pretty chill while I careen around with intention, sometimes with less patience than I’d like.

And, one of those intentions, as always, is connecting to you. Even if just to say, “Hi there. You’re doing okay and you aren’t alone.”

Hopefully you’re feeling that.

Until next time.

Meg Signature

 

 

Impatience Get Away Car. Bye.

Impatience Get Away Car. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image by me.

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9 Responses to Why I Won’t Be Praying For Patience

  1. Solar says:

    Whenever I read your words, it’s like I’m sitting inside my own head with my own *original* thoughts said with such humor, articulation and compassion, it’s like I have a 5-minute vacation to love who I am. Not to make your post about me. But I’m pretty sure that was your intention…and it worked. I love your glorious viewfinder, your filters, your megaphone….you’re MEGaphone. And of course, I love you. And in loving you, I get to love me. So thanks for that not so teeny gift. Brava, as usual.

  2. Heidi says:

    Just want to take a moment to let you know I always read everything you send me. That’s a big compliment. Mostly I just throw away everything that comes to my inbox or maybe I’ll read the first and last lines of what is sent.

    I love what you write about and how you say it. I’d love to hug you, hang out with you, and know you better because your writings have endeared you to me.

    I too am impatient and a fiery mass of intensity, who’s walked a similar path to yours. Currently, I’m learning to stroll leisurely through hell, wearing my crown of course, and arm in arm with my make believe male companion. IE.,I am in process of going through a divorce with a sociopathic man, who makes everything confusing and chaotic, and with whom I must fight for every scrap of support and respect. Hoping to be out of Hell in late October.

    You remind me of my own spunk when I get pulled down into negative thoughts and stress about my situation. Thank-you sister!

    • mworden says:

      That really means a lot, Heidi. Hang in there with the life stuff. Sounds like you’ve got it handled.. but if you ever need support, let me know. Sending you all the warriorness I can muster.

  3. Janelle says:

    I beat myself up for the lack of patience thing, particularly when I’m impatient with my little kids, who are supposed to look at bugs and shit. A reminder not to be a dick? Fucking brilliant my friend.

    • mworden says:

      The kids test the patience like they were born to do just that. Wait. Were they? Oh, good grief. Love to you always, Hanchett, I’m fist bumping the crap out of you in my brain right now. xx

  4. Naomi says:

    Amen to the full blown impatience with things that matter! I hear you loud and clear (and am VERY impatient myself … I’ll try to stop with the audible sighing)

    • mworden says:

      Totally, Naomi. Here here for real with injustice being insufferable. But we have to show ourselves some gentleness. Onward!

  5. […] Why I won’t be praying for patience.  […]

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