Friday, February 22, 2008

Grant Me Patience Lord-But Hurry!

It has been awhile since I have posted; for a host of reasons.

My silence has been mainly, because I have felt more compelled to listen, rather than speak. My voice has been lifted to thank those who have blessed me with encouragement, inspiration, wisdom and a different perspective. To you all, I say thank you again. I pray that in time I will be all to you, and others, that you have been to me. I love, respect, and honor you all. In my listening I have learned. I have been able to challenge my natural inclination to see things a certain way.

Recently, I have questioned myself and reflected on whether my views are idealistic, naïve, and focused in areas that will only lead to disillusionment, disappointment, and ultimately loss of joy. No really, I am not just being dramatic. Granted, I do have the tendency to be just that, I can freely admit. Nevertheless, these possibilities have dominated my thoughts.

As a part of the New Year, I have a habit of reflecting and goal setting- not that they always stick- it is my ritual all the same. It is my practice to evaluate my direction as well as examine my relationships-business, personal, and spiritual. In doing so this year, I realized that I have been consistently nurturing relationships that are one-sided at best. Not only have I been doing this, I realize that I have indulged these relationships for years.

Coming out of 2007, I am happy to report that I have been able to get my love and professional life on track. Whew!!! Let me rest in that major victory for a moment. It thrills me to report this! It has truly been a long time coming. I am so thankful.

As I turn my attention to my other relationships, I realize that there are areas that require my attention and a different approach. I have people in my life that suffer from such chronic self loathing and the side effects that accompany the condition; that my continued love of them drains me. I find myself exhausted from listening, teaching, loving and straining to be patient. I will freely admit that I am not, naturally, the most patient person ever created; in fact, I find patience to be an excruciating discipline-like dieting and exercising! I have a refrigerator magnet that pretty much sums it up- “Grant Me Patience Lord- But Hurry”.

Compounding my fatigue with frustration is the realization that when it comes down to it, I find myself alone to deal with whatever my struggles may be. It is me and Jesus. Thank God we constitute a majority! These same friends are nowhere to be found when I need them. I have other people in my life that have appointed themselves to “reminder” positions much to my utter annoyance. They remind me of who I used to be consistently. Ladies, if we are the same at thirty-five that we were at twenty-five, we are suffering from stunted growth. Don’t let it happen to you. I am learning to manage my reminders.

In frustration, I have wanted to shut them all out and start over. Yes, it’s like that ya’ll sometimes. But then I shake it off and consider the following:

a) If I can’t walk in patience and love with my friends, then why on earth should strangers hear me? How will I ever endure?

b) Those people in my life that really mean well and are doing the best that they know to do at this point can serve as training ops for me. Sounds weird, I know. However, as I have delved into public speaking recently, I have found there is always one child of God that will zap all of your patience in a few misguided sentences. Therefore I have decided that some of my loved ones will be my trainers and conditioners for just such occasions. How is that for turning lemons to lemonade?

c) As I look around me I know this much for sure. My message is needed. I cannot get frustrated and give up. There are too many living their lives only for their pleasure without concern for those that have gone before us and are coming after us. Should I and other like-spirited people like me do the same--- our ancestors and descendents would weep. I don’t know about anybody else, but I can’t go out like that! This life is not for the faint of heart.

d) I have decided to budget my energy. I will not give until I am drained and depleted. Instead I will point that person in the direction of great sources of energy, joy, peace, and wisdom for me and urge them to pray for inspiration and enlightenment as to what would be most helpful to them.

Okay, that is my plan for now. How does it sound? I welcome your comments, suggestions, and wisdom.


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