More on Patience

As I wait for the author copy of my book to arrive, I ponder the practice of patience a little more. Truth be told, this entire publication process has taken much longer than I anticipated and, at times, i hate to admit that my impatience got the better of me. I have a level of what I think of as healthy anticipation or eagerness that I think of as good. But that eagerness  occasionally devolves into something less pretty: a restless expectation that things should happen according to my own timeline.

How can I expect everyone to be on my schedule, though? The truth is, I can't. And the expectation of it sets me up for feeling anxious and overwhelmed.

I've come to realize that my impatience stems from a desire to control the situation down to its most minute details. We humans do this more often than we probably care to admit. We often want to control our lives, our worlds, and the people around us so that we feel more comfortable or safe. Our minds may seem more content when life happens according to our own plans. Everything should simply work the way we expect. 

But life rarely unfolds according to our plans. 

Trying to control everything is, at some level, a sign that we don't trust Spirit. Spirit's plans and timelines can be vastly different from our own, and if we're mired in the need to control, we may not be open to Spirit's touch or guidance in our lives.

During my NDE, I learned that Spirit asks us to let go a little more so that He/She has space to work that beautiful magic in our lives and hearts. 

I remembered that lesson and tried to apply it in this situation. Letting go of some of my control, letting go of the expectation of a certain outcome in a set amount of time, allows the energy of Spirit to flow through my life once again. Not only am I calmer and less stressed, I'm enjoying the beauty of this moment. I'm enjoying the accomplishment of finishing a project that was 18 months in the making, and I'm having fun meeting many new people and learning about life and love in ways I never expected.

I think about control this way: trying to control everything around me is like trying to hold a butterfly by grabbing it with all of my strength. Doing that simply crushes the life out of it and destroys the beauty of the butterfly. Instead, I allow it to alight on my open palm, staring at it in wonder and amazement, then let it fly off on its own again at its own pace, on its own schedule. 

Don't get me wrong -- sometimes we really do need to make plans, keep to schedules, or have some control over a situation. But we really don't need to control everyone and everything at all times. There is beauty and amazement and serendipity in the unplanned. God can work in our lives a bit better if we take a deep breath and relax.

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