When we care deeply for, or are fond of someone, especially in the beginning of romantic relationships, we either do not pay attention to, or simply tolerate annoying behavior(s) they exhibit, often to the extreme, extending both leeway, and our comfort zone.
One endurance test in cultivating a loving character is learning patience in the face of what annoys, and unsettles us. This is not a test in developing love for others only, but is also, a necessary quality to practice on ourselves, which we do each day when we look, and go beyond moving past what bugs us about our own thoughts, or actions, enabling us to make it through the day, to live with ourselves, and begin again with those for whom we have an affinity, despite being bitten, or being the biter.
What a blessing, being unable to read the minds of others. Given our biases, imagine the disturbing thoughts we’d intercept. Our own egos are enough to tackle, yet it is the ego of everyone, we must contend with regularly. This is where patience, forgiveness and tolerance come in.
We argue, internally, on a daily basis. It’s sounds funny to say we argue with ourselves, after all, we have our own best interest at heart; yet we fight our gut feelings, continually throughout each day; grappling with what we want vs. what we do not have. Throw another person, or more with contrary points of view into our already conflicted personal arguments, soon, there is plenty to test our patience.
In general, our ego, usually, is not on board with, or attuned to our gut, because the ego wants to control its reality, which is generally a misperception of reality. It’s more of a fantasy; an image of what we wish was real. The ego is an angry associate; constantly resisting what is, for what it wants to see. The gut must do the battling. It must be strong to digest not only what is physically, and literally swallowed, but also the enormous mixture of emotions, facts, and falsehoods it is fed, by separating, and breaking them down completely, as it is able, so each can be assimilated in the most efficient manner; distributing substantive portions, and discarding as much waste as possible in order to utilize, and retain the nutrients, squeezing out excess garbage, so as not to overwhelm the bodies systems with toxins, including body, mind, and the heart, thus prepping for absorption. Otherwise, toxins contaminate the physical body, which aids in filling the ego with toxic thought. The gut being the heavy in this process, ideally fuels a most important muscle, the heart. As we are all aware today, our consumption of contaminates enters from every direction; add to that, a lack of, or impaired filter for what consumes us internally, and we are full of debris, at every level in the sorting process; which results in distortions affecting us constantly.
When the heart is functioning optimally, there is an abundance of calm; we experience feelings of balance, and well being throughout. Decisions are less based on what is feared might happen, stemming from distorted views, and motivations are generated by a positive energy flow with an optimistic outlook. We literally feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally when we are not braced with tension physically, mentally, and emotionally for what we fear might happen. In general, we worry less, and do more. With constructive energy, we construct. This doesn’t necessarily mean we receive desired outcomes; however through these opportunities to practice patience we are supplied tools to cope with things as they are, or what they become. On a continual pursuit of happiness, while in this constant receptive state, we make efforts to make sense of, and discern what may, or may not fit in the quest to match, and create our perception of what should be, which is based on our minimal knowledge, short sighted, and skewed views. We are always perceiving, absorbing, and attaining positivity, as our senses engage us in a process of de-construction, breaking us down, in the same manner as our digestive process feeds us the constructive stuff, which can be a bitter swallow, not always the sweet delight we want to taste. Forced through the bitter, forces us to be patient, and the more developed our levels of tolerance, and ability to forgive becomes. We thus, can mature in compassion with the ability to calmly, and thoroughly absorb, rather than letting the ego be the first handler of what we’re being fed, by miss-sorting, thereby negating the nutritious, positive, or useful information, through misinterpretation, or misunderstanding, thus stirring negativity, and boosting resistance to what is coming our way, or more likely, what isn’t, when we are not getting our way in a situation. The ego gets angry about that, and proceeds to question with the why’s… why now, why not, why me… the, I want to control this, thoughts, and angry because it fears the why’s, and the what’s… what we don’t knows, but do suppose; always jumping to conclusions, and making assumptions. We want things to go our way, the way we see them with our fantasy mind, where we are in charge, and get our way. When do we want it? Now! We also, have trouble comprehending why we shouldn’t, or don’t have it, and why we cannot get it the why not me’s! This leads to thoughts, and questions regarding what we deserve. Nothing’s wrong with that, it’s both, reasonable, and necessary to question in order to progress.
When we think about being deserving, we might contemplate what we have earned, and worked for, or end up jumping straight to, I am; therefore, I deserve, because, why not, why wouldn’t I, and why don’t I? A popular mantra today is, let go of what no longer serves you. Context is important; it is often interpreted to mean, do not extend latitude, or forgiveness to others if you’re not getting your way; if things are not going where you want them to, and you’ve determined the other person is an obstacle in this perceived path, thus it often ends relationships, due to a way of thinking about wanting, and/or deserving something else, whether it’s something, we do, or do not want to work for, but think we are entitled to in either case, and it’s just not working for us, in this case. This can be beneficial, and/or merciless. Everyone struggles with compromise, and sacrifice in relationships, and must go through a process of discernment in order to act compassionately with themselves, and with others, which leads to relationship discourse regarding trust, commitment, obligation, inter-dependence, and co-dependence, and may be a subject for another blog post, as these require in-depth, and lengthy address.
Another mantra going around is, relationships shouldn’t feel like, or take much work. Sometimes what bugs us in relationships is the arrogance in another person expressing an attitude, not of gratitude, but of being deserved, as in today’s common theme, I deserve to be happy. This can be considered a loaded statement. First, it’s usually being felt, or said when someone is feeling unhappy, or more precisely, not getting what they want, or is irritated, and annoyed by someone, or something not meeting their desires, and expectations; it’s feeling like work; it’s the result, which is not working, this one, isn’t receiving the reward they seek. Feeling deserved is also, often used to justify a non-tolerant, and often impatient behavior, many times at the expense of someone else’s happiness, or comfort, therefore causing trouble. We don’t want trouble, but have difficulty avoiding it, because we thrive on the expectation of happiness. In order to address issues relating to it, I will put this definition to happiness: an un-worried, contented state of being comprised of feeling serenity mixed with joy; a calm, carefree state.
We experience many happy feelings sharing the warmth of love with others, healthy blood flowing warmth from being given compassion, and empathy. These feelings allow, and compel us to confidently express affectionate intimacy (referring to the depth of our feelings), and we, then perceive heartfelt joy (happiness), in sharing our contentment. The joy comes from being in the contented state, a trustful, and confident state of being, although this makes us vulnerable to disappointment when trust is violated. Yes, when, because it is only a matter of time before we are upset, and our state of being shifts from a heart of gold, to ego, seeking gold, in the pursuance of those golden perceptions of what we think will bring us happiness (What we expect to receive is, as good as gold.), however, we, so frequently resist gut feelings, which, would keep us even-keeled, exchanging calm with trying to take it to ourselves, now, as our ego propels us through wanting to skip ahead of digesting, jumping right to it’s yummy parts, which brings us trouble, in general.
The heart is a persistent, and compassionate bugger. Usually, the pesky voice telling us, this feels great or it hurts, either ourselves, or others, thus harming us both directly or indirectly, in any case. When our ego resists the pestering heart by going its own way, hurt follows, so, to no avail, the heart, in distress, beats louder next time, which brings stress, as the ego flares up. As frustration is a companion of patience, the heart accompanies the ego, and is there to pick up it up when devastated. Patience is a practice, an activity; it works through frustration.
Long lasting relationships are frustrating in many ways; one of them is being forced to practice patience, though, often a challenging task. Seeing challenges through requires commitment, but leads to learning virtues of love (mercy, and forgiveness being among the many virtues), while working together, in keeping with each other, maintaining the relationship. It promotes learning to acknowledge a bias, and letting it go by us, instead of believing there is an escape (from the ego), leading one to, be leaving a companion, instead of sticking it out through the wounds, from when we are knocked off our pedestals, and forced to reckon with the always, battle ready warrior within us, the stinging, dueling, wildly-sword swinging ego.
Losing it (being impatient/losing patience) puts focus on one’s ego, resulting in arrogance; often ending relationships. People are, so often, merciless, unforgiving, and condescending. With ego as the focus, it’s easy to be haughty, believing we are a better brand, or higher grade of person in some way than others. While, some people are better at certain activities, have more developed skills, or may be more knowledgeable in a particular subject, or topic, there is always room for humility, especially, if one does possess a higher level of expertise, or skill, etc., in which case, there are even more opportunities available to practice patience, and compassion because the expert must explain in further detail, and demonstrate more clearly, etc., to reach a mutual understanding, and teach others, and in order to practice patience, must express, give, and extend greater tolerance, mercy, and forgiveness to those with lesser resources, abilities, skill, etc., or of whom may be, or whom is seen, as beneath expert level, or even what is taken for granted, and labeled, common sense, which isn’t common unless it is practiced commonly, by the average, or less than average masses. However, sometimes arrogance blinds the refined, or privileged individual into taking personal strengths for granted, and not seeing the attributes of others, whom may be much more capable than an engorged ego gives them credit for.
People are quick to judge a situation, but slow to actively wait it out, see it through, and follow it through (see what follows), especially when they are faced with challenges, which can expose personal weaknesses. Sometimes this is a necessary way to cope, forcing an end to relations, other times… haste makes waste. In general, it is impossible to be impartial while deconstructing. We absorb what is fed us, what we feed on, utilizing what we gain from the plentiful, and varietal portions we are given to ingest, we put away the nutrients, within each persons unique framework, and scope of abilities, while our ego also, puts a way on what comes in. Our perceptions are continually altered, stored, and dismissed, or discarded, revealing, it is not always what it seemed to be when we first thought we wanted, or deserved it; though it may appeal to the eye, it can make us sick if it disagrees with our gut, as it is broken down to its base nature, and simplest form, and may not bring us the happiness we were expecting.
Being patient doesn’t always come easy, yet its end is a loving expression made evident in what comes from it, which is mercy. Who has not been subjected to frustration? Who has not desired mercy? Who overcomes frustration without patience? There is no giving or receiving mercy without patience. Over time, we glimpse Godly character (love); shown us bit by bit, through bout by bout; passing the test of patience resulting in our receiving the highest grade of mercy.