Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lessons from struggle - Patience and Presence

Oh, what a pace is life! If we get into the race, it can be hard to step away for respite. And what's the rush? We really can't hurry growth or learning. They unfold in their own time and in their own way. Knowing this doesn't make life any easier.

When my kids were little, my mom commented several times that I was patient with them. Yes, I gave them choices. I tried not to rush them along.... most of the time. I certainly wasn't in a hurry for them to grow up. I enjoyed most of the stages of their development. Especially when our two oldest sons were young, they were my primary focus. Then, I started working more hours once our youngest was a preschooler. At the same time, his brothers were adolescents, and life became a little more of a blur. Boy, did we pack a lot into our days, just with their school, my work, homework and home life. Now, when I look back, I sometimes wonder, where did the time go?

My 80 year old mother recently fell and fractured several vertebrae in her neck. You can't rush healing. She is doing remarkably well. But, she has had to learn to be patient with the process. Bones take time to heal. Children take time to grow and learn. And so do we all. I still have much to learn. One daily reminder is that we are not really in control of very much.

What do we miss when we aren't noticing? A new tooth. Another freckle. Lots of new words and phrases. New abilities showing up. Maturity. Wisdom from the mouth of babes. New willingness to help out. Greater understanding. And many joys and pleasures. So, the spiritual practice of patience helps me to be present to the moment and observe how things are unfolding. Growth is supported when we are awake and aware. What would really support my growth and learning right now? How can I support my child's development?

I'm going to go take a walk, and notice some of what is unfolding before my eyes on this beautiful day!

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