July 13

PATIENCE MONTH: DAY 13: “And sure enough, even waiting will end…if you can just wait long enough.” ― William Faulkner

I was so glad to find a quote by Mr. Faulkner. He has been a lifelong favorite of mine, although he has little to say that I find spiritual. I always think of him as really cynical, so it is nice to have this one.

All of us can remember our impatience as children; counting days to Christmas or birthdays or hating long car rides that seemed interminable at the time…”are we there yet?”

It is a great sign of maturity when we can wait in line, drive with the flow of traffic, or be patient nicely. Most addicts are immature, so we are not good at any of these things. One of the features of drugs and alcohol, and part of their strong appeal to us, is their ability to work NOW. Only a couple of drugs take any time to have effect on us. That is their real appeal.

We like our responses, our effects, our answers, our rewards, whatever…right away. And that is not how life works. Most of us are not well-equipped to put time and energy into something that may take years to produce results.

I think of all the oak trees I have planted. There are only a couple that I get to see and am so happy to see their growth over the years since I planted them. Other trees, like cedars, are quick to grow and provide big-tree shade and beauty. Oak trees are much, much slower.

Every Christmas and birthday have come, whether I am patient or not. Every baby is eventually born, whether the mother is tired of carrying the burden or not. Every tree grows (or not), according to the nature of its life.

Every garden I have planted has produced. Some prolifically, some sparsely. Depends on the amount of work I put into them and a lot of other growing conditions.

Without knowing it, I was growing old, waiting for all of these things, and many others, to come to pass. I am grateful for all the times I put in the effort, work, and time to complete some things that feel like successes for me.

And, knowing that passive waiting is not my best quality, I am always doing something to make the time more productive than just sitting and staring at a phone or other device. I crochet in waiting rooms, in long lines, on long car trips (when I am not driving, of course!) and whenever there is going to be some time for me to be still and not move around. I made a whole blanket on my last hospital stay. Beats just laying there or watching terrible TV. I have learned to love the waiting. It is peaceful and productive, when I learn that I am not the most important thing present.

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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