July 17th, 2008

jesus (by sabotabby)

Speaking Patience and Other Ramblings

Supposing you don't speak French. (Perhaps some of you do, but for the purposes of this little exercise, assume you don't.) If you come across someone who only speaks French, you might wind up in a bit of a state of "Eep! What do I do?"

Now, suppose that you're in the process of learning French. If you cross paths with our Hypothetical Frenchperson now, you now have two options. You can continue to be all "Eep! What do I do?" or you can think "Hey, here's a hell of an opportunity to practice my French!"

I'm not studying French at the moment, but I have been doing something a bit similar. Every frustration and irritation that I come across has been a golden opportunity to practice the language of patience.

Much like learning a new language, practicing patience is not always easy. You may stumble a bit when life throws you something you weren't quite expecting. But with each lesson, you become a little more fluent. I learn when I'm stuck in the Post Office line and a small child is shrieking. I learn when my boss is yelling at me when I don't say or do things quite the way he expects. I learn when traffic has slowed to a crawl. I learn to breathe, to accept, to let things be what they are instead of raging at them for refusing to be how I would have them.

There was a phrase that Mr. TBH would use quite often: "It is what it is." It's something I still keep in my back pocket to this day.

The easiest way to have a perfect life is to understand the nature of perfection. Perfection is not a state of being. Perfection is a value judgment.

Consider--the Liberty Bell has an enormous crack in it. By the standards of, well, at least how it was originally forged, it is imperfect. If you were to create a replica of the Liberty Bell that didn't include the crack, it would be an imperfect replica. So when you let the Liberty Bell be what it is, it becomes perfect. Indeed, we've gotten so used to the crack, we wouldn't dream of fixing it.

And, no, that doesn't mean that we just shrug and do nothing when others are suffering. But we can serve others better when we allow things to be what they are and then move to change them, instead of wasting our energies wailing about How They Should Not Be.

Analogy #3--(yeah, I got a lot of 'em tonight)--you're walking somewhere and there's a ginormous rock in your path. You can do any number of things. You can climb over it, you can dig under it. You could even walk around the thing. But until you acknowledge the size and the weight of the thing, none of these tactics are going to work. And, definitely, banging on it and crying that "THIS ROCK SHOULD NOT BE HERE" is not going to make the thing go away.

See, this is how I've been trying to live my life. And maybe that's why I haven't been posting so much, because as a result, I've had a fuck of a lot less to bitch about.

Today I took pleasure in getting these thoughts out of my head onto a page.

Today I learned how to renew my car tag online.
  • Current Music
    The Tender Idols, "When I'm Found"