July 17

PATIENCE MONTH: DAY 17: “The years I have squandered in puerile excitement, in going hither and thither, in seeking to force nature and time, I ought to have spent in solitude and meditation.” ― Théophile Gautier

The last thing I used to be able to do was to sit quietly in solitude and meditation when I was excited and running around impatiently.

Sadly, we can beat ourselves up for not being where we think we should be, as in this quote. Patience is not something that can be beaten into our senses or into our behavior.

Teaching ourselves how to be quiet and be present to what is happening is the key. This takes years and years of practice and dedicated time spent in doing it.

Step 7 is not one where we can beat ourselves into submission. (Note: NONE of the steps are good for that!)

I got a sense of punitive tone in this quote. Addressing that is an important part of the steps and the spiritual nature of the growth we seek and find when we are diligent. There is only the tiniest modicum of growth possible for those first 10 years. Then a modicum more in the next ten. The leaps and bounds of “change” I thought I was experiencing was only in opening my mind.

The true changes take many years after that. This is what we get. The benefit of time is that we don’t know when we start how long it is going to take; BUT we do see the effort paying off down the road. If I told a newcomer that there would be substantial growth seen after 30 or 35 years, they would never be able to sit with that.

However, that is the truth I have seen here. We get an idea of where we hope to be, then we get to walk with those defects a long while, and they are removed, and we are softened into an amazing space…over and over and over again. Polished like a beautiful piece of marble, carved over time to a lovely piece of art.

What a gift this all is to us! And what a lovely process. For myself, I can see nothing wrong with having had that way of being, so I can see the progress over these many years. It ain’t perfect, probably never will be. But there is NOTHING wrong with any of it, as long as I can be honest about where I truly am!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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