Patience. Sigh.

patienceGrowth of any kind takes time; it’s a process, and any living creature must not only endure growth, but open to it in order to blossom. Seeds are buried in the dirt, in darkness, and anything that sprouts out of that dirt must struggle, and keep moving toward the light, even if by millimeters. We live in a world that wants, and is used to, instant gratification. I want something, I want it now, and my job is to figure out what I need to do to get that thing I want as quickly as I can. But really, the work is to open to things as they are, in each moment. To accept as natural that there will be times of (growing) pain, and to embrace the process. The birthing experience can be shocking and violent and deeply uncomfortable.

We are taught that “light” feelings are good: happiness, joy, gratitude, love, excitement, feelings of connection; and that “shadow” feelings are bad: fear, doubt, shame, rage, grief, loneliness and lethargy. But we are all going to experience feelings across the spectrum, because we are all human, and life is full of ebbs and flows. When you push those shadow feelings away, when you resist your own process, you deny yourself a chance to grow and blossom. But that’s exactly what we’re taught to do. Even the most loving parents will say to their children, “Don’t be sad” (or angry or scared), and the message is that certain feelings are not okay. We’re taught to distract ourselves, to push the feelings down, and that it’s more important that things look right on the outside, than that they feel right on the inside. Sometimes we’re incredibly impatient with life, with love, with ourselves, with our feelings. From time to time I get emails that go something like, “I’m doing everything right, why aren’t I happy yet?” Life is under no obligation to move at the pace we want, or to meet our expectations. There is no quid pro quo, as in, I’ll do everything right, and then life will give me what I want.

It seems we are all racing all the time. We have gadgets that store our calendars, we can text each other and expect to hear back quickly, we can check the Newsfeed while standing on line at the bank, we can Google any question about anything, ever, anytime we like. We’re so used to this everything-at-our-fingertips-feeling, that having to wait for anything leads to feelings of frustration. Eckhart Tolle defines stress as, “being ‘here’, but wanting to be ‘there'”. Embrace where you are whenever possible, because anything else is a denial of reality. Do your best to relax into your feelings, even when they’re painful. Especially then, because the growth during those times is exponential and accelerated. Love yourself, do your best to be gentle, kind and patient with your heart, and allow life to unfold. Maybe it will surprise you. Sending you love, Ally

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