Sunday, October 7, 2012

Patience moves mountains . . .

When I was in my twentys I was quite impetuous and didn't take the time to really think things through. Many decisions were knee jerk reactions that some times came back to bite me! After all, my frame of reference was limited and I wasn't all that street smart. My thirties weren't all that much better although I had begun to amass more wisdom. I was blessed with the ability to weigh options quickly, select the best option and implement the plan. That could be unsettling for some of the people around me, because they may have still been weighing the options when I was busy implementing. That wasn't a skill that worked well with team decisions and I didn't have the patience required to gain consensus. So it was in my forties that I began to learn the virtues of patience. I had spent so much time avoiding patience that the lesson was a hard one. The day I got injured was the beginning of that lesson as I learned the meaning of severe, acute pain that went on and on, and then became severe chronic pain. I must admit I was an extremely slow learner. I was anxious to resolve this injury and get on with my life plan, but unknown to me there was a different life plan laid out for me. I admit too that I traveled down this life detour absolutely kicking and screaming.  I had never known a substantial life detour like this one. And that was the start of my real education, because up to this point I was working a haphazard life plan that didn't permit me to understand the deeper meaning of life events. It was time to slow down, reflect on the finer points of my life events and draw more meaningful conclusions. Those little nuances that had escaped me before were now glaring right back at me and they were impossible to ignore. How could I have missed these messages in previous years that had so much importance?

The wisdom of Let go, let God is invaluable when faced with a stressful situation that requires patience while things work themselves out, and you don't need to be a religious person to understand the wisdom of these four words. It's good to know the difference between times when immediate action is required or watchful waiting is the preferred method. When a true emergency occurs it is obvious that immediate action is required, but if you aren't faced with a true emergency there is no reason to act right away on anything. Take time to think it through. If you feel as though you are trying to control a situation it is probably wise to stop, take a deep breath, and settle in for the wait. That's the hardest thing to do, especially when you want to control something or someone. Just let go of it and watch miracles happen. The outcome is usually very different from the direction you may have wanted it to go, but when all is said and done, things work themselves out for the best. I have gotten quite good at the watchful waiting game, because I have had lots of practice. 19 years of CFS/FMS have made me a pro, and learning this skill has benefitted me in many other areas of my life.

When I first became injured and then sick with CFS/FMS I couldn't wait for the nightmare to be over. I kept thinking if only I had a common cold I could rely on the 10 days of sniffles and cough and then go on my way. But the nightmare didn't end and I couldn't find a doctor that could help me either. I was out there on a fragile limb by myself with bills to pay. I had to go to work or lose everything I had worked for all my life. So every morning I picked myself up out of bed and just went to work. Every day when I woke up I felt so sick and was in such severe pain, all I wanted to do was call in sick, but then I reasoned that I would feel just as sick the next day and the next so which day could I say I was sicker and needed to stay home? So I just got up and went to work. It was the toughest thing I have ever done other than raise a daughter. But I learned the true meaning of perseverance and fortitude . . . and patience. I soon learned I was in this for the long haul and I might as well sit back and relax for the ride. When someone at work would be stressed out about something I would say, "Did anybody die?" If no one had died then it could be fixed. I ended up running a Joint Commission hospital and clinics survey and prepared the entire organization for that event. I calmed everyone when they would feel stressed that these regulators were coming and they always felt better. I had learned patience and with that came a calming peace in my life that I was able to convey to others. That hospital and clinic system passed the survey with flying colors, when other organizations weren't fairing as well.

Now, let me tell you about my girlfriend, Shirley. She is a remarkable woman and a loyal friend. Shirley and I met about 47 years ago in Junior High School and we played basketball together in High School. When we graduated High School we went our own ways. Shirley spent the years after High School raising her family and working with her husband in business. Shirley now has the freedom to do what she has been called to do -- make other people's lives better. Shirley became a therapeutic massage therapist and many of her clients have Myofascial Pain Syndrome and/or Fibromyalgia. She patiently works with her clients as long as it takes to bring them pain relief. Shirley provides some of her services at no charge when she works on a client for up to 2 hours or longer. She works to release the tight bands of myofascia and reduce trigger points, which provides a long lasting pain relief. Her technique is gentle and she partners with her clients to ensure they feel able to continue a longer session. Shirley's generosity, love, and compassion drive her life purpose. Shirley is a beautiful woman and some of that beauty comes from her positive energy, enthusiasm for life, and the love she readily gives to others.  I couldn't possibly ask for a better friend!

Patience is a quality that will bring you peace and give you the endurance to be a pro at watchful waiting. Having patience is beneficial in your personal life and your professional life too. So, when you feel that a decision needs to urgently be made, or you feel impatient for a situation to unfold that you are trying to control, sit back, relax and evaluate the situation with a calm mind. And with plenty of patience. Blessings to you as you patiently make your way through life!
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