Patience

Every morning, after my sadhana, I read a page in Eileen Caddy’s book Opening Doors Within. She has a page for each day of the year with what I see as inspiring and useful reminders to align myself towards a more harmonious life. Towards the path I want follow.

Here’s July 10:

HOW VITALLY IMPORTANT is your right and positive attitude towards today and all that it holds for you! You can make or mar the day for yourself simply by the way you approach it. Your reactions to things as they take place can make all the difference. When your reactions are negative and aggressive, you immediately put up barriers and create opposition, finding fault and blaming everyone else. You are so blind you fail to see that you are the one at fault, and you go around with a chip on your shoulder. When your reactions are positive and constructive, all barriers come tumbling down and you will find you will get help and cooperation from every side. If you have made a mistake, admit it, say you are sorry and move on. Then no precious time is wasted in trying to justify yourself and prove you are right. You have many lessons to learn. Learn them quickly, and try never to make the same mistake twice.

If you have read some of my blog posts this summer you might have noticed that I have been reflecting a lot about the moments where I get carried away by frustration and/or anger.

When I read this page, I thought ‘Yes! That is what I want to strive towards!’ Who doesn’t prefer life to flow instead of creating opposition and conflict? Why is it, then, that I still see myself in certain situations shutting out? In opposition to what is happening?

My Yoga teacher, Prasad, once told me ‘Patience will be your most important asset in life’. He was so right! Lack of patience is often at the source of my unskilled way of dealing with my thoughts and emotions especially in challenging situations.

Does it ever happen to you that you wake up in a weird mood? That from the first moments in the morning you notice some sort of inner discomfort? I am learning to observe this and be with it during my sadhana and remind myself that whatever happens during the day, it is more ‘the mood’ that will throw me off balance than the outer circumstances. This requires patience towards myself, not to try to escape from ‘the mood’ and patience towards what happens during the day.

Unfortunately, I don’t always notice ‘the mood’ or in the haste of everyday life, I forget my morning’s reflection. Too much to do and the wish to things to ‘go my way’, and a feeling of self-righteousness are often the reason why I forget to open up, to listen, to slow down and be constructive. In other words, lack of patience.

What can I do? Keep practicing. Keep giving myself the time to sit in silence in the morning to notice my mood. Keep reminding myself to be mindful. Slow down. Do less at a time. Let go of my perceptions when they are not helping.

I have managed this year to be better at accepting my mistakes. Not to be too afraid to see them, and apologize. Accept that I can’t do everything according to everyone’s expectations, and move on. This has been rather liberating.

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