“Have patience with all things, but, first of all with yourself.”
~Saint Francis de Sales~
Sitting in an office chair in the backyard of my friend EJ’s house, and my thoughts turn trippingly towards Patience. Not your run-of-the-mill, garden-variety, patience-is-a-virtue Patience either. Nope.
Not for today.
Not for you.
For you I save the good stuff. The stuff that runs a little deeper. More personal.
I want to discuss having patience with yourself and your process. Cutting yourself some slack as you begin or continue on your path towards self-actualization. It’s easy to pinpoint what needs doing when you think about patience with everyone outside your personal bubble. There are steps you can take to ease the pain of their annoying stimuli, no matter how much they are exasperating you at present. If all else fails—the smiling, the prayer, the counting to 10—you can always up and walk away. Any of these techniques are done simply enough and your world is set back in balance—if you put forth the effort it takes to keep everything flowing “merrily, merrily down the stream.”
This all runs a little differently when the noun (person, place, or thing) infuriating you wears that same face you see in the mirror every morning. How do you walk away from that rotten bastard?
It’s not easy.
I know. I’ve tried.
Right now, this minute for instance, I’m having a difficult time cranking out this blarticle. You’d think it’d be easy as it is based on a vlog I did a while ago. Most of the words are already there, right? And yet, here I sit—fiddling with this, futzing with that—basically not writing about Patience because I have hit a wall. So much so that I created another vlog entitled “Patience Revisited” – MWTV #341 to celebrate the occasion. There’s a saying: “Don’t pray for patience.” Why? Because with that prayer you get all the trouble you’ve been trying to avoid in spades and that teaches you patience. A few more hours of this and I’m going to be a pro.
At the very least, a writer.
It’s not like you can simply walk away from yourself, what with all your annoying problems, persistent bad habits, and such. Sure, you can check out every once in a while, but where does that get you? Usually a ways down the very road you were irritated about traveling on in the first place. And, isn’t that how you got mixed up with a lot of your problems and habits? By checking out from the difficulties in your real life in pursuit of a little “distraction,” a bit of “excitement”—aka drama? And that’s just Negative Drama.
What about Positive Drama?
What is it about you and your positive pursuits that bothers and frustrates you most? Is it how you so very often stand in your own way—keeping your success at bay because you are too afraid to follow through or even try? Or scared witless Success may come a-knockin’ on your door, bringing with it (1) even more work for you to cram into you already oh-so-busy schedule and (b) even more of an opportunity for you to F-up royally, historically, and publically. Nope—it’s better to remain the same old loveable screw-up everyone knows and enjoys you to be rather than invite the heaping helping of the ridicule that is sure to come with the level of FUBAR you’ll be signing up for once you open the door and allow that sneaky prankster success to pwn your ass publically.
That’s only part of it, isn’t it?
Sometimes you’re well on your way to becoming self-actualized, an enlightened being who not only knows the right things to do and say, all with perfect timing, but actually does and says them, doling out brilliance to all who care to listen. And, at this stage in your growth, everyone cares to listen. Except…except…it’s not happening fast enough for you, is it? And that really chaps your ass. Doesn’t it?
Or, you fall at the other end of the spectrum, concerned all this attention you’re placing on yourself is taking away from you “being there for your friends and family.” This makes you “selfish,” right? Not who and what you want and are working towards being. Right?
Dead wrong. So, cut it out.
Slice the cord on this self-righteous self-pity party and cut yourself some SLACK!
I’m not trying to come down hard on you here—you’re doing enough of that yourself. I’m just trying to get you to stop beating yourself up over something that is a necessary part of your process.
“The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom…”
“Becoming ‘selfish’ is one of the first steps taken on the road to self-actualization.”
~R. Mordant Mahon~
As you step on the path to becoming a better person, you have to focus on yourself, concentrating on your own growth first. This may come off, especially to you, as being somewhat selfish.
On that: yes, but no.
If by “selfish” you mean concerned with you and your growth process, working on yourself and putting your personal development first, before rushing off to worry about others, then you are correct. You are indeed “selfish.” However, it’s a different kind of selfish and will not push you further down that wretched road to D-baggery (placing your whims and desires harmfully before the needs of others). It may, in all actuality, help bring you into another, kinder (i.e., more selfless) way of being.
So, before you can turn to help your family/friend/neighbor/coworker with whatever mess they are cleaning up, you have to begin setting your own affairs in order. At the beginning stages of your personal-development process—rising up from a relatively douchey state to a mighty, awesome one—you have to be “selfish” and take care of you. Focusing on what you are doing, you have to concentrate on the betterment of your self.
This Selfish is a necessary beginning step.
Those who do energy work or different forms of Chi Kung already understand this. When doing any kind of energy work, you’re cleaning, building and cultivating that energy. Once you’ve sufficiently “worked on” yourself and built up your own energy, then you can reach out and help someone else. It’s not unlike when the airplane’s emergency oxygen mask falls down from its hidden compartment—you should put it over your own face before attempting put it on your child’s. This way you don’t succumb to the smoke first, passing out and doing neither of you any good. Make sure you take care of yourself in the beginning.
This is the Positive Side of Selfish.
And, remember Patience—you’re going to need it.
This path you are pursuing, leading to a Bigger, Better, Badder, More you, can be a long, drawn-out process. More marathon than sprint, you need to have patience with yourself. Maybe it’s not quite clicking—“Well, I tried being positive and everything is still crap.” Relax. Breathe. Trust yourself and the process—it’s going to take some time. You have to undo a lot of all that negative drek you’ve been cultivating most of your life. Don’t worry, it’s not just you.
“I call my therapist every other day. It’s not a one-stop shop.
You have to push away all that negativity in your head. Face it, name it, let it go.”
As a species, mankind tends towards negativity. As an individual, you have to deal with that. Before you can truly be positive at everyone else, you have to begin being positive with yourself. This goes back to Patience.
Loving yourself enough to be patient.
Patient enough to love yourself.
As with everything, the answer is Be Happy. Grow Love. In your life first and then stretching out to others. It all begins with Y-O-U. So, just be patient with yourself. Love yourself. And, every once in a while take your office chair outside and enjoy your Mordant World.
Based on the vlog: “Patience” – MMV #5.