It’s good practice at the end of each day to remind yourself what you are grateful for. At times when everything seems horrible, or it seems as though everyone and everything gets on your nerves, this can be as simple as “the sound of the rain” or “solitude” or “the soft feeling of my bedsheets.” In times of pain, we can still be grateful for these things; actually, these things feel even more intense during times of pain because they are in extreme contrast with the bad feelings. Apparently with life and with feelings, it’s all relative.
Apparently with life and with feelings, it’s all relative.
Be grateful for where you live, for your family and your friends, for the fact that you are alive today. In many parts of the world, people do not have access to secured housing, clean water, healthcare and education. Be grateful that this too shall pass. Be grateful for God and for the universe.
Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations With God, says “The way to move out of Judgment is to move into Gratitude”.
One of the most difficult things is to be grateful for yourself. My counsellor asked me to describe what I appreciate most about myself, and I found myself a little tongue-tied. I didn’t want to sound conceited, which is crazy because obviously there are things you appreciate about yourself!
We often hear that patience is a virtue. Waiting, waiting, waiting. It can feel like torture. I’ve found that the things I’ve waited for in life have driven me insane. To the point where I felt like I could only be happy if I got that one thing… and now. Clearly that’s not logical, but it feels like the only solution. What I’ve learned is this: True patience is when you forget what it is you are waiting for.
True patience is when you forget what it is you are waiting for.
When you let go of the waiting, you allow room for some peace. You throw yourself into other things that matter, and you find that perhaps the thing you were waiting for was not what you wanted after all – there was something better waiting for you around the corner, a deeper lesson to be learned, or perhaps you ended up getting exactly what you wanted… and it was all worth the wait.
All this talk about patience reminds me of a story. What better tale to exemplify patience than the story of the tortoise and the hare? Both animals set out on a race, and the hare in all his conceit assumes it’s a shoo-in. He laughs as he watches the tortoise trudge along, and thinks to himself that he could easily take a little nap and still end up winning. And take a nap he does – yawning and stretching out against an old oak tree. The turtle is not one to be discouraged by such antics. Ever so slowly, but with determination and patience, he traverses the path. As he approaches the end, the hare awakes with a jolt – how on earth did the tortoise manage to get so far?! He runs as fast as he can, but it’s too late. The tortoise has won. Slow and steady wins the race.
Are there times in your life when your patience was tested? How did your patience (or lack thereof) affect the outcome?
Speaking of patience, it’s almost 7 PM and I’m heading out to a chic restaurant called Makita in downtown Ottawa. I’ve patiently been waiting to eat all evening!
Will write more on other other emotions – gratitude, compassion, fear, anger – another day. :-)