Never a virtue I possessed. I always pray for it, asking God, the Universe, the patron saint of waiting…whoever that is, to please give me peace in the unknown. Next, what happens is God/The Universe/Patron Saint of situational Irony gives me a test in which I am supposed to exercise patience. Inevitably, I fail. Ending up on my knees crying, sad, and brimming with anxiety pleading with God/The Universe/Patron saint of lessons learned to please just let it be over. Then I’m back to square one.
In the Tao Te Ching it’s said:
Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?
The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment.
Not seeking, not expecting,
she is present, and can welcome all things.
Not seeking, not expecting, she is present and can welcome all things. I cry when I read this. Mostly because I think of how unlike me this has been. how expectant I usually am. Impatient to my very core. I know all the sayings, “if you chase time like a thief he will run like one,” and the scriptures, ” Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phill 4:6-7).” In my head I know it. If only it weren’t stuck above my neck, this knowledge.
This year with the presentation of this challenge to change, I immediately chose patience; in that Lao Tzu may agree that as a result I also chose presence. I have always been a big picture thinker, my resolve was that I am what I am in total (was, is, will be). However what I’m coming to find is that I am what I am (period). Present tense. A second ago is who i was, not who I am…and I am constantly becoming, in a state of transformation. Funny how each class reminds me of another.
Each morning and each afternoon I try to let my world settle around me. I breathe and concentrate only on my breathing. To recenter myself and to take in the moment. I make note of how things and people, chi of mine and others feels in my body. I think this has begun to help me not to seek, and not to be expectant. To be ok with the unknown and the yet to come. At least…to begin to be ok with it. Always the work in progress.