Patience.

I’m not entirely sure who Rumi actually is, but I’ve been quite taken with these memes. This one, in particular, spoke to me. I’ve spent the better part of the last 40 hours in bed. Thinking. Seeing. Forseeing.

My DBT skills teach me that trying to read the future isn’t healthy; my past experiences have tended to throw a black cast over my expectations. That, in turn, has meant that I would behave in ways that would almost certainly guarantee said black-cast result. A vicious circle of not wanting things to turn out bad, being convinced by my past experiences that they would, and unconsciously ensuring failure or heartbreak or disappointment by taking steps to prove myself right.

That’s fucked up, right? I prefer to use past tense. That was fucked up. I am changing evolving growing.

Funny, that: I’ve learned that you can teach an old dog new tricks, although it is slow-going. And oddly enough? It took reaching a new emotional low to find the tools that are propelling me upward towards a healthier life.

But here is the rub: I am still a work in progress and patience has never been a particularly strong suit of mine. Luckily there is a DBT skill for that: mindfulness. It is the practiced art of living in the moment. Of allowing myself to be present and unconcerned about what might happen by not projecting what I think might happen. Of being fully engaged in the here and now, even when the here and now is painful as fuck. Of feeling what I feel — joy, sadness, grief, whatever it may be — without judgement. See the thought; name it; feel it; don’t judge it. Don’t allow myself to become the negative thought.

I think this particular Rumi saying resonates because to me it represents mindfulness at its best.

Lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full.

The act, then, of being in the moment, is not inertia; it is not torpor. You cannot rush love. You cannot rush healing from hurt. You cannot rush another person to be on your timeline.

I wish I had this insight a week ago. Instead, I see in hindsight, I was trying to rush towards a future without considering what I had done in the past. That my actions caused hurt and mistrust in the person I love. That I am NOT the only one who was affected by the black-cover I had tossed over my life.

That in my — and unfortunately, the emphasis here is on ‘my’ — desire to be back where we were, I was selfish and unwilling to just listen. Not just hear, but l i s t e n. To pick up on his cues and ask questions about his concerns without trying to have the fucking answer before knowing the question.

And that’s what I did: I was anticipating my answers to questions, without hearing what he was asking. Without listening to what he was saying. Without considering his concerns. And maybe, if I had? I wouldn’t have had any answers. I would have just been a better partner by being a better listener.

I think, then, that patience isn’t about sitting and waiting for something anything to happen. It is rather the act of knowing that the night will turn to day will turn to night, no matter how much I want to speed it along. People move to their own rhythms. They need time to figure things out.

I don’t know what is going to happen with the situation that is causing me some deep longing and pain and tremendous regret at my impatience. I know what I want to happen.

And I know now that my impatience in those moments — the longing to move ahead without considering his needs — may have caused me to lose the best thing that I’ve ever known. But I’m not going to project. I’m going to foresee; to know the day will turn to night in its own rhythm. That time will cause the moon to turn to full.

Namaste.

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