LOVE IS PATIENT
Patient - able to wait without becoming annoyed or anxious; uncomplaining, long-suffering, enduring, tolerant
How many times have I not been patient with the people I love? All the time. I have a very difficult time being patient. I usually want things to happen instantaneously, if not before I even think it. If I have to think it, and it isn’t in the process of happening, I become annoyed and anxious right away. Just ask any of my children, or my mom, dad, brother, etc.
Why did Paul feel the need to put it at the top of his list in his first letter to the Corinthians? Well, first of all, he believed the people of Corinth were having a total mental breakdown when it came to the definition of love. Everyone was running around doing what they wanted with no consideration for anyone else, which is all good if you can totally line up with that feeling. The problem becomes a problem when you are not ok with how you are acting. And, they were not a group of ok people. They were looking for love in all the wrong places.
You can certainly act impatient as long as your impatience isn’t giving you any negative feelings regarding it. For instance, if I was impatient with my children for not doing what I asked them to do, the real feeling is not impatience - it’s irritation and annoyance at their inability to make me happy. So, really, patience had nothing to do with it. It was really about me feeling the need to be listened to and respected.
But, if my impatience leads me to doing things I am procrastinating about, it can be useful.
My question to Paul would be, “Why did you put it first on the list of your attributes of real love?”
Well, maybe Rumi says it best: “Practice patience; it is the essence of praise. Have patience, for that is true worship. No other worship is worth as much. Have patience; patience is the key to all relief.”
If patience is “the key to all relief,” what relief? I guess the relief from the false belief of having all the answers. It’s also a relief from your ego’s belief that your wants and desires are more important than those who you love.
Your own wants and desires are important as long as they don’t require action from anyone other than yourself to make your happy. If you feel yourself becoming impatient with someone who you believe owes it to you to make you happy, you really are not going to be happy. All you are doing is imprisoning yourself and the other person to a false sense of happiness.
If you are looking inside for your own happiness, being patient with your loved ones goes from a chore to something that is very easy.
Paul knew what he was doing. In order to give love freely and unconditionally (there really isn’t any other kind of love), you need be patient. Patient with yourself when you are feeling impatient and patient with everyone around you.
How am I going to show love today? Through patience. I feel the relief already Rumi!
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love does not envy.
Love does not boast.
Love is not proud.
Love does not dishonor others.
Love is not self-seeking.
Love is not easily angered.
Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Love always protects.
Love always trusts.
Love always hopes.
Love always perseveres.
You will never be able to help or heal anyone until you see them as not having to be helped or healed.
HOW DO I CHANGE?
I am frequently asked, "How do I make changes in my life?" I have asked that of myself for years.
Here's something I have observed. Change seems almost inevitable...even automatic, when one reality in your life sets in...a reality expressed most beautifully by one of my spiritual mentors:
"When the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of being different, you WILL change."
The longer I live the more I realize how true this is. You could apply this to virtually anything...
Here's a few renditions on this:
When the desire for peace is greater than the drive to please, you'll no longer care what they think...
When the pain of staying is greater than the fear of leaving, you will separate...
When the pain of smoking is greater than the pain of quitting, you'll be free of the addiction...
When your longing to know God is grander than the fear of questioning your beliefs, your journey into the Divine begins.
Ever wonder why changes in your life do not come so effortlessly? Maybe the pain of remaining the same is as yet less than the pain of being different. When it is greater, you will change.
Another secret of happiness.
When Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself," I must say that, through most of my life, I've heard much about the former--you should love others; not much, however, about the latter--you should love yourself.
To love yourself.
Just saying the words sounds a trifling selfish. Or, maybe that's just the conditioned baggage I still carry around within me. For example, I cannot think about loving myself without feeling and hearing the inner tapes judging, "How small of you, McSwain...proof still there's much self-centeredness in you that needs changing!"
In my better moments - and I think I'm having one of those right now - I know that I'm hardly free to love anyone else until I love me.
So what does it mean to love me?
Maybe to stop comparing myself to who I am not?
I don't know about you, but I seem to spend a lot of my time looking around at who others are, what they've done, who they know...who knows them...
I sat down on the plane the other day, for example, and the lady beside me, once she finally got settled, and that seemed to take fifteen minutes or longer, she pulled out about four or five different magazines to read on our short one-hour flight.
"People" magazine; "In Style," I think, "Life & Style," too...a couple of Hollywood tabloids like "Star," "US Weekly." I don't know maybe some others. I could not help but observe how little text there was in the magazines. It was mostly just pictures and headlines and she just turned pages and looked and, yes, I looked out of the corner of my eye and hoped she couldn't tell I was curious...a little judgmental too.
I wanted to ask her, "What do you get out of those magazines?"
But then, it occurred to me, she probably gets the same thing I get out of reading about people I admire most...people I secretly envy. No, I could care less to read about Brad Pitt or the latest Kardashian antics. I have a different crowd. And, I am no less interested than my seat mate on the plane in knowing what those I secretly admire are doing, what they're writing, what they're saying and, of course, wishing I were more like them, as widely known as they, or as admired by the world as they are.
I think I've decided that much of my preoccupation with others...who they are, what they've accomplished, who knows them...is really just a kind of self-judgment...the inner self reminding its-self of who I'm not, what I haven't accomplished, who will not ever know me...
Isn't loving yourself simply the awareness you don't?
That's the place to start, at least.
It may seem odd to you but I'm 57 years old and just now learning how to love me...
But as I do, I love you.
You see, when I stop judging me, I no longer need to judge you;
When I can accept my achievements, or lack of them, I stop envying yours;
When I can forgive my screw ups, then I can forgive you, yours;
So, my friend, if ever I criticize you...judge you...complain or call you names...or say things like, "You expect me to forgive you for..."
Just know that I haven't quite figured out the mystery of life that Jesus was pointing toward -- a mystery so mysterious you could live 57 years and just begin to figure out that - You and I only ever do to others what we're doing to ourselves.
When I'm afraid of me, I'm afraid of you...so I stockpile guns in my home and call my fear, my Second Amendment rights;
When I'm afraid of asking questions...of living with doubts...I create elaborate belief systems and insist that everyone else believe as I believe...as we believe...or face eternal consequences.
When I judge the world as filled with hate or hopeless or...well...
Permit me to put it like this:
When there isn't much love in my world, I've learned to take a look within myself. For, when I love me, then you become my neighbor...and the world becomes a neighborhood.
Soothe yourself into alignment by pointing out to yourself how well you are doing, how much is going well. If you can do that Law of Attraction will say, "Here is more." Esther
Did you ever get a great parking spot and think to yourself, "How did I do that?" If not, you should. You did do it and figuring out how will bring more of the same kind of feelings with other things going on in your life.
I've been to Barnes & Noble for the last three days in a row and got the same unbelievably awesome parking spot. The first time, I thought, "This is amazing." Yesterday, I thought, "What a coincidence." Today, I thought, "This is my parking spot." Obviously.
Now, I need to figure out how it happened. What vibration was I riding on which made that spot mine?
First, I've been doing meditations I have never tried before. I know that helps. I've also been trying to write down all the good things going on in my life right now. According to Esther, that really helps. And next, I've been able to connect with my own spirit like I never have before.
I know the parking spot thing is only a small manifestation to all of the work I've been doing to make myself align, but it is evidence of it working.
And, evidence is all it takes. After evidence, you receive hope. After hope, comes knowing. Then, knowing turns into everything I could ever dream.
One more thing, you have to take the good with the bad.
If I create all of the good, I also create the bad.
Yesterday morning, someone cursed at me. If there is anything I hate more than being cursed at, I'm not sure what it is. I was raised around two angry parents who cursed and it only makes me think of anger. Instead of getting upset with the person who did it, I became grateful. They showed me a hole in my vibration I didn't know existed.
I immediately prayed for God to show me what I was doing wrong in my thought life, and immediately got the answer.
What did it show me? Ask and you shall receive. I asked what was going wrong, received the answer and moved on with my day.
I believe the only way to deal with unhappy people who wish to vent at you is to silently thank them for showing you there is something going wrong. With that, you are also forgiving them for any harm they were trying to cause you, which also helps elevate your vibration. Nothing can keep you down more than having an unforgiving heart.
After that, my day went from good to better and then to amazing. I practiced the vibration I wanted and the universe said, "Here you go. Have fun!"
My name is Michelle. I have six children and 7 grandchildren. This blog is about what I have learned in my 52 years here. So far, it's this simple - I thought I needed to figure out everything - turns out I don't.