Patience

It is very difficult to be patient in a society that is now developed to have everything at your fingertips as quickly as possible.  From texting, pictures, locations, food, even down to your favorite television shows, why be patient?  If you have the means to pay for it, why not get it when you want it?  Unfortunately, we know that everything in life is not readily available when we would like for it to be.  Basically, everything does not evolve around our timing.

I believe patience and timing go hand in hand.  It would be difficult to have one without the other if you begin to think about it.  For example, I know I am not the only person who remembers watching the clock to get out of class and start my weekend…honestly, I am quite certain that some of us do the very same thing on our jobs!  However, watching the clock does not make time go by any faster or fulfill your wish to be free from the demands of your job or class.  Time is indefinite and will always continue at its own pace, whether we want it to or not, so this is when the character trait of patience should be implemented, but is simply difficult at times to practice.

The example of time on your job or class was a very simple way of looking at patience and time, but let us think further into patience and time when it comes to life’s events, especially the unexpected events.  What do you do then?  Wait in vain?  Take matters into your own hands, even when you are unsure of the outcome?  Blame others for your current state and demand that they are the ones to fix the issue, which we know is impossible because all of it leads to things that are beyond your control.  In my opinion, that is all patience is…waiting on things that are beyond your control.  Patience, at times, can be painful to accept and exhibit.  Yet, I believe it is an important action to practice.  I believe practicing patience will build your character and reveal many unknowns about yourself.

While practicing patience, you will have to ask yourself one simple question.  What is it that you can control in your specific situation?  Once you determine that, next you will have to figure out what you are willing to do to ensure that you have done everything that you are capable of doing, given your situation, to draw closer to your desired outcome.  After all is done, there is nothing else that you can do, accept allow time to take over and take advantage of the time to focus on other hobbies and responsibilities.  There will be no need to stare at the clock and wait for the phone call or a decision to be made.  Leave it alone and let time work on its own.  Essentially, for myself, practicing patience has led me to acknowledge what I am willing to take control of, accommodate, and what I believe is worth waiting on.  This has helped me with my patience, but does not mean that I am never an impatient person.  That would be more of a perfection and a perfectionist, I am not.

Overall, I do not believe that patience renders us into perfect people, but better people.  You begin to enter a state of relaxation, perhaps you have a moment in time where you focus on something else and have a productive day, and you take pride in what you were able to accomplish, instead of giving all of your energy, which may turn into negative energy, into something that is not meant for you to control.  Allow time to take its course, because after all, it is never late nor does it never arrive.  It may not be on your time, but if you are willing to be patient, it will be on time.

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Forgiveness

Reading the word, “Forgiveness”, may make you relive all of those situations where someone has broken your heart, betrayed you, or lied to you.  I believe we all have our own stories on those topics and if you do not, keep living and you will.  However, I often think it is extremely hard at times to move past all of the devastating events that people have caused you to endure.  Exactly how do you move forward with love, confidence, and strength knowing that a person and/or people have beaten and stabbed you in back, seemingly on purpose?  It all points to one word, a word that is sometimes the hardest to display in your actions and in your heart…forgiveness.

I have been often told that you should forgive and forget, which I believe is a very difficult task to do and you may too.  Instead, I think it should be forgive and release.  In order to move forward with your life, you must not only forgive what others have done to you, but you must release it in order to truly forgive someone.  My post Releasing the Past may offer some suggestions on how to begin the process of releasing.  On the other hand, if you are unable to release, you may find yourself holding on to those things and becoming bitter and ultimately, holding a grudge against those who have done you harm.  Unfortunately, while having a grudge, your heart also hardens and you may be unable to discern when someone in your life is honest, caring, and loving.

Forgiveness is not an emotional act that happens overnight and it is not to be done for the other person, but for you.  For example, I had several issues with my father while growing up and although I tried to suppress them and ignore them, those issues eventually spilled over into my adult life and before I knew it, I was hurting people around me and blaming him.  At the time I was unsure about how he felt about our relationship and I was too stubborn to ask.  I believed that in since my father caused me pain and heartache, he should have been the one to call and make our relationship better.  So, I sat and waited for that phone call…for years, only to realize that was not going to happen and if I wanted to move past my pain I had to forgive him and release the issues I had with him, which I discuss more about in Daddy Issues.

After completing my process of releasing the anger, sadness, frustration, and any other feelings towards him, I began to feel better, but most importantly I began to understand him and I was able to forgive him.  Although we do not have the picture perfect daddy and daughter relationship, I believe that I am in a better place about it and with him and that is what matters most.  However, I do believe that forgiveness can look differently, depending on the situation.  For instance, you can open your heart to release pain regarding a person who has physically violated you or abused you and forgive them, but that does not mean that they are worth accepting.  You will have to determine what is best for you after you forgive, which may include moving on or starting the relationship with a new foundation.  Just be careful with who you begin that fresh start with because you do not want to forgive someone and possibly return to the same state as before.

Overall, forgiveness is a process and it begins with you.  If you decide to wait on other people, you may be signing up to wait for a long time, like I did with my father.  However, if you truly want to be free from that person or those negative feelings, let it go.  It will take time, but once you are able to forgive and release, you will be able to move forward with clarity, understanding, and a loving heart.

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“Forgiveness is not something we do for other people.  It is something we do for ourselves to move forward.”~ Unknown 

Accepting, Accommodating, and Tolerating

As a woman, I am all too familiar with the words accepting, accommodating, and tolerating.  However, I am sure as people we all do it at some point in our lives with work, family, friends, life’s situations, and relationships.  Yet, there is a point where we must realize there is a time and place for all three of these actions and there are incidences where these actions are not needed at all.

Accepting.  First, you have to know what you are willing to accept.  This means you must be honest with yourself, and while being honest with yourself, enforce in your life exactly what you are willing to accept and avoid what you do not want.  I found this to be a task that is easier said than done.  It is to the point where I actually believe I have to write down what I am willing to accept in different areas of my life, such as work, friendships, family, and romantic relationships.  However, do what works best for you because there are times thinking about it will not be enough.  Before you know it, you will find yourself accepting any and everything, especially if you are a people pleaser or constantly trying to avoid any conflict.

Accommodating.  Next, you have to decide what and/or who you are willing to accommodate in your life.  I love using the term, extras, which my friend defined as people who are not consistently available in your life and pop-up when they want to be seen with you or when they make you the extra in their life when it is convenient for them.  Yes, you can be an extra and not even realize it!  You know how it is, the “friend” who calls you or texts you to invite you out to an event or to grab lunch or better yet, brunch, that’s how it often is in the city, when their friends are not available at the moment or when they are simply bored.  You may be happy to see this person and want to catch up on all that has happened in your lives, but they stick to the simple conversation starters such as, “How have you been?”, “How is your mother?”, or “What drink are you ordering?”.  Eventually, you realize that the two of you are more focused on your phones and people watching, than enjoying each others company.  Contrarily, being an extra can sometimes be fun…and that is all it will be.  If you go out with this person, you know for certain that there will be no cover charge, you will have a few drinks, and good conversation, but outside of the social scene, you and the other person do not exist.  Is this worth the space that it is taking up in your life?  Could someone or something more meaningful take its place?

Tolerating.  Finally, you have to determine what is worth tolerating.  This could be behaviors, personalities, relationships, or one’s character.  I have allowed myself to tolerate things that I knew made me unhappy, but somehow, I believed that it was the right thing to do.  It was more than likely the people pleaser characteristic and the avoiding conflict that made me tolerate certain things in my life and I found out that I was causing more harm to myself and sometimes to the people closest to me that loved and cared about me the most.  This is the moment in your life, when I believe, you will have to step outside of your current situation and ask yourself, is this worth my time and effort?

Overall, when dealing with the actions of accepting, accommodating, and tolerating, you will have to do one thing and that is be true to yourself.  You cannot focus on the “what-ifs”, including but not limited to, “What if our friendship changes if I keep answering his or her calls?”, “What if they realize that I am the one for them?” or “What if they recognize that I am an asset to this company?”.  These are questions you may never get the answer to, so instead, ask yourself one question.  What is best for you?

Heartbreak and Healing

Who hasn’t had their hurt broken?  If you say you have not, you are probably not being honest with yourself, but that is another post for another time.  For the past several months, I have been dealing with The Ways of My Heart, especially during my vulnerable phase, and that included all of the heartbreak that it has endured.

It takes a lot to bounce back after a heartbreak, whether it is due to an intimate relationship, a loss of a loved one, or going through life’s obstacles (i.e. health, loss of job, financial issues).  It is simply a rough time in one’s life and I have definitely had my share of heartbreak.

I am not going to say that I will no longer encounter heartbreak, but I hope to better equip myself to not be a victim of it.  In life, some things are beyond our control and will happen, regardless of how we feel or where we currently are in our lives.  However, I believe you are able to protect your heart from heartbreak occurring, at least to a certain extent.  For example, your heart will ache when you lose someone you love either by death or if a decision has been made to no longer be with one another, but your heart should only ache for a certain amount of time because it should reach a healing point.

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I do not believe that there are a certain number of days or months for your heart to reach the healing phase, but I believe you should do all that you can to reach your healing phase and if anything, it should be a personal goal.  I had to realize for myself that I wanted to be healed from the pain in my heart, physically and emotionally, but how did I begin working towards my goal of healing?

First, I had to examine my heart.  I had to acknowledge and accept what was hurting me.  That may sound crazy, because who does not know what pains them?  Yet, I know there are people, including myself, who suppress the pain by forcing themselves to not think about it, by drinking it away or simply ignoring it. However you may suppress your pain, put it down and uncover your heartache because it still lives, despite all of the things you have done to cover it up.  On the other hand, I am sure that there are individuals who allow their pain to consume them and I am one of those individuals as well.  In my case, it basically depends on what caused the heartache in the first place.  For instance, a bad break-up is sometimes easy to cover up with the rebounds or the notion of I do not need anyone and I’m going to do me…yeah right.  There were times when I blamed myself and allowed the break-up to control my actions and how I thought.  On the other hand, facing a health crisis may not be so easy to ignore and you may automatically become consumed by it.  This is something I know all too well and I also know that it is a very unhealthy space to be in.

Next, once you have acknowledged your pain, you must stop blaming others for what they did.  I know this may be difficult, but it is a part of accepting your pain.  It will not be easy letting go of what others did to you, such as abandoning you, lying to you or about you, or treating you cruelly.  Nonetheless, at some point, we may have to go through those trials or maybe you already have.  However, I do know one thing to be true.  If you allow your heartbreak to lead to your healing, your character will grow and you will become a stronger individual.  Sometimes it is hard to accept this, but I believe that is exactly why life throws at us the unknown and the difficult situations.  Now, you may have to ask yourself  are you walking into your heartbreak, because that is something that can be avoided.  For example, if you know how a certain person operates with other people, why consider pursuing a relationship, intimately or as a friend, having knowledge about that person’s character?  I am assuming we all have heard at one point in our lives that we cannot change someone, so please, do not attempt and if you are reading this and have tried this once or twice yourself, I am sure you would agree that it almost always fails and you are left with the broken heart.

Overall, do not linger in your heartbreak.  Acknowledge it, accept it, and look towards healing so that you may become stronger and more knowledgeable because after all, life always has its unknown and you have to arm your heart for those difficult circumstances, but thankfully, you do not have to stay in them due to the power of healing.