January 15th, 2016
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In the Oscar-award winning movie, Dream Girls, an insightful song is featured about practicing patience.  The lyrics (written by Henry Krieger and Willie Reale) go as follows:

I know you have questions
Same ones as me
How long has it been?
How long will it be?

When will come the morning
To drive the night away?
When will come the morning
Of a brighter day?

Patience, little sisters
Patience, little brothers
Patience, patience
Take each other by the hand

Finding patience is something I struggle with.  Constantly.  I put it right out there.  Finding the patience to handle life’s trials is something I work on all the time.  To give you a classic example of my impatience, I remember thinking after my husband’s tragic death that I could deal with the extraordinary pain of this loss if someone would just tell me exactly how long I was going to feel this bad.  I just wanted it to be over.

At the time, I didn’t see that the process of grieving was a process.  That I needed to give myself time and that eventually it could give something back to me.  Getting through the initial mind numbing pain did strengthen my inner self but it happened slowly and it took a lot of patience, or impatience in my case, with life’s stops and starts.

I have to accept what has happened or is happening and then go with the flow of it instead of trying to wait until it becomes the way I want it to be.

That’s where Lodro Rinzler comes in.  For the purposes of this post, the virtual hand (from the song above) that I want to hold while becoming a more patient person is Lodro Rinzler.

If you haven’t heard of Lodro, he is a practitioner and teacher of Shambhala Buddhism, the author of five books, including, The Buddha Walks Into A Bar, and founder of the Institute For Compassionate Leadership.  He is a wise soul who also happens to have the perfect voice for leading meditation, calm  and reassuring.

I have listened to a number of Lodro’s online mediations and talks focusing on relaxation and centering your thoughts but more recently I took a few of the online meditation classes he and a number of other teachers led between Christmas and New Year’s on how to handle holiday stress and the qualities that you can practice to help you build a more mindful New Year.

The session on patience stayed with me the most because something that Lodro said made me think about patience in a way I never had before.  Here goes: Lodro actually said that the person who drives us crazy can be our teacher.

What??? I am thinking to myself when I heard this the first time.  You have got to be kidding.  I am thinking that the person or persons who drive me crazy are the people I don’t want to be with.  These are the people I want to walk away from.

Now Lodro is suggesting I can learn something from the people who drive me crazy?

At first I didn’t get it (maybe I didn’t want to get it because it would be so hard) but now I have come to see why he is on to something and here’s the ah-ha moment: Lodro says that if you offer yourself the gift of space when you are dealing with the people who drive you crazy, slow down your thinking and breathing while interacting with them, that this could start to help you put the brakes on how you usually react to the people who drive you crazy and perhaps you won’t lose your patience with them.

That is easier said than done for me but I am all in with Lodro on this idea and am really trying to practice this brand new way of becoming more patient.  So far, as with most things in life, sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t.  Experiencing setbacks is part of life but so is starting over and giving yourself a break when things don’t work out.

And I do recognize that it is up to me to break the habit of allowing my buttons to be pushed and to change my behavior.  I like to think that I have made some progress but it’s probably not a lot.  But I am trying and I think that does count for something.

I try to keep Lodro’s thoughts in my head as I go about my day.

As the song says: Patience, little sisters. Patience, little brothers.

Let’s take a deep breath, dive into the day and offer our hands to each other in the much needed spirit of encouragement.

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