01 June, 2014

Ask Al: Patience

Dear Al, 
I have recently been mad at myself for not "leaning in" to difficulties and challenges of class, especially in regards to my vulnerability—I feel very unwilling to feel exposed. I try to push myself, but part of me knows I didn't give everything I could. I also realized I was trying to please too much this week. Please myself. Please you. Please whomever! And sometimes when I don't get the "attention" I desire, I just close up, shut down, and over-analyze. To use your term, this is not what my "highest self" truly wants! I know you cannot always provide answers to everything—you are not *actually* Buddha. You are Al. But I thought it was worth asking!

I hope this doesn't sound too "hydrogen-y..." I just feel like lately my energy has been "off." I think I have reached a new plateau and don't know how to take it to the next level. I get so impatient! I want to feel all of the results right away and with great intensity!



I get it. It happens! And it is worth asking. It's a question that plagues us alleven if we aren't artists!

There can't be growth without periods of reflection. The butterfly has to spend time in the cocoon. When we all appeal to our "higher selves," we motivate that highest self to make the most of the opportunities that ARE in front of us. (Plus, grouchy/ whiny/ arrogant/entitled/needy thoughts and behavior are contagious, so do everything you can to disengage with it socially or in your own head...)

Energy in life isn't always going to be perfectly "on point." So remember that it is not the energy itself, but your response to the energy that makes the difference!

It would be so much easier to get through life if we said:
"I really wanted that to be world rocking. I tried to facilitate that happening, and it didn't today. That's okay. It's all allowed to be a part of the process."
You are a very results-oriented person (many people are), and in many cases that is fantastic! But you must embrace the process! Embrace, and accept the fact that just because it doesn't happen TODAY, it does not mean it isn't currently in the PROCESS of happening.

Example: I sometimes get really frustrated with my Invisaline. I mean, here I am a thirty-year-old woman with invisible magic braces (so I already feel like a jerk), then I look in the mirror and I freak out.
          "Is it even WORKING?! I can't see the difference yet and it has been 10 weeks! 16 weeks!"
But of course... it IS working. I will calmthehelldown, look back on the original tray, and completely marvel at how much change has been achieved every single second of the day, even in my sleep, microscopic bit by microscopic bit... So I trust that one day, after all this consistency and commitment, I will wake up with straight teeth. I just have to stick with it, and not allow myself to get negative...
... Um... sound familiar?
Basically: you are my crooked teeth. 
No but seriously,
          The best and most permanent things in life are rarely built QUICKLY.
So trust that it is happening.
That you are learning.
Even if you can't feel your progress every single second. 

Thus your self-proclaimed "neediness" is understandable—you are feeling lots of growing pains (also known as "icky feels") and want to feel better.

But you're right: my approval or disapproval won't fix this in the long run. You have to make peace with the power and the role of "struggle" in the human growth experience. Accept the very human necessity to tolerate struggle, to embrace discomfort in the name of growth. (It's like stretching—without a little discomfort we can't touch our toes, or do downward dog, or the bendy lotus thing...)

Embracing struggle means making peace. It looks like this:
     "My energy is off, my planets are in the wrong house, it so cold I can't feel my face, I didn't cry in Acting class, and all of this is making me uncomfortable; but I'm okay and it's okay because I'm embracing the process. It's all allowed."
And you're right— I'm not Buddha, I am indeed Al.
But in this case, I think even Buddha would say "Make peace with patience." 

And remember, as the great John Steinbeck taught us in East of Eden:

"And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good."



1 comment:

  1. Girl, I needed this post SO badly today. Thank you so much for your amazing wisdom. <3



Related Posts with Thumbnails