Tuesday, February 03, 2015

What I learned in January - love is patient.

Linking up with Emily @ chatting in the sky

The Princess took "love is patient" as her challenge for the month of January.  She had ample opportunity to practice this virtue every single day.  The small people in her life, her own, and the younger ones that she assists in teaching weekday mornings, helped her to grow more faithful in displaying patience.  She can't say that exasperation didn't crop up frequently as a response, but she did feel like her patience performance by the end of the month was an improvement on where she was at in the beginning!

What took the Princess by surprise was how she learned that practising patience doesn't even have to involve other people.  When she did something she deemed silly, or something that was an error of judgement that had some consequences - she was flooded with shame, but then counseled herself through, the way she would if it was someone else who had done the 'shameful' act.  Trying to patiently love herself is a new thing for Princess Morag; she is much more familiar with beating herself up, being defensive or wondering what the heck is wrong with her!

Changing those automatic thoughts about herself and others is difficult.  And knowing that no-one is likely to transform into a saint overnight is lesson one in patience, followed by taking one small step in the right direction.  Learning a 4-7-8 breathing technique was also very helpful in the progress of patience [breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, hold for 7 and breathe out through your mouth for 8]. When baseline anxiety is high, patience is almost impossible.  The Princess didn't make time for any exercise outside of daily(ish) walks but she breathes anyway, so this technique wasn't too difficult to integrate into her life.  

On reflection, the Princess is pretty sure that being patient and feeling peaceful are somehow intertwined and that making room for one, helps usher the other into the same space.  Since peace is not something that she can conjure on demand, remembering to practice patience has been a good lesson.  

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