At a recent family gathering for my 54th birthday, there was, as always in our family, much philosophical chit chat about life. I was commenting on how sometimes instead of rushing in to fix things, we can just let the situations play out and more often than not they sort themselves with a minimum of fuss and a lot of learning if we are willing to see it.
My son in law Michael, replied that something he has been learning in the past few years since he turned 30 was to be mindful to ‘Rest in My Patience’.
What a great saying. It got me to thinking. So I googled the meanings of the key words.
Rest: verb - cease work or movement in order to relax, sleep, or recover strength.
Patience: noun - the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
My: determiner - belonging to or associated with the speaker. This opened the question of what is a determiner? So in this context I take it to mean…
Determiner: noun - a person or thing that determines or decides something.
These definitions of a few simple words opened up a profoundly revealing and significant statement, and made me ask myself the question ‘Do I rest in my patience?’
Here’s what I came up with.
With ‘rest’ being the verb or ‘doing’ word, it is an action I need to take. I need to deliberately make it happen. I need to decide to cease work or movement in order to relax, sleep or recover strength. Now for someone who is a ‘doer’ the thought of doing ‘rest’ can be a bit tricky and yet I know I really need it for my mind, body and soul. So challenge number one. I need to rest more. Agreed.
Then the word ‘my’ engaged me. When I first started writing this blog, I changed the ‘my’ to ‘your’ – hmmm that in itself was interesting. I love to encourage others and yet I first need to live it myself to fully understand it. So I changed it back to ‘my’ which means the action of ‘resting’ belongs to me. To the speaker – me. Me, me, me. To fully comprehend and live this statement and reap its benefits, I have to associate it with myself. The word ‘determiner’, which the dictionary uses as an explanation to ‘my’ also opened up a question. In the context of this phrase ‘rest in my patience’ the word ‘my’ becomes a noun. A belonging word, a naming word. I have to own it. Challenge number two.
I thought I knew what the word patience meant. Everyone probably does. It’s not rocket science – it’s about allowing time for something to happen. It’s about not rushing things, or pushing them to happen. Not getting anxious, or annoyed while waiting.
It’s about letting go – bingo! Challenge number three.
I realised anew, that patience works for me as long as I still feel in control. I’m thinking it might be that way for many of us, but having patience is about letting go. I am still sure these words need to be tattooed on my forehead in reverse so that every time I look in the mirror I am reminded of the key to a peaceful and fruitful life - letting go.
Putting it all together, do I deliberately and mindfully choose to take the action to relax, sleep and regain strength? Do I own this decision in which case means that I actually ‘do’ it not just give it lip service, and do I fully understand what it means to let go?
I’m ok at it, not brilliant, but at 54 I think I am further down the right path than I was at 30. I now know the life giving benefits of rest, and rejuvenation, regaining strength – I have found that I cannot live healthily and happily without it. I am getting better at making the ‘my’ in life have fuller meaning for myself. I am owning my decisions better and not putting off looking after myself. And when I do put that off, I am getting better at recognising it and making a change without blame.
And I am building more capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. I choose to see the bigger picture, to see that sometimes relaxing into patience is allowing life to play out, it’s about getting out of the way and allowing circumstances to follow their natural path.
I am so much better at letting go, but I haven’t got it all right – yet! I’m hoping for at least another 54 years to keep working on it, but whatever time I have, it is important to me to keep experiencing peace, joy and love, and the ability to better ‘rest in my patience’ is a great step in the right direction.
Thank you Michael for the inspiration.
Merelyn’s writing is supported in part by the sale of her books. Autobiography - ‘The Deepest Part of Me’. ‘Inspire’ – inspirational reflections for your life’s journey. ‘Stories behind the Songs’ and her first children’s picture book ‘To The Moon and Back - Grandma’s Rocket Ship Adventure’. To find out more about her work and to support her through the purchase of her writings and music, please go to www.carterandcarter.com.au