“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.” ~ Abraham Maslow
I have been working with the amazing Sandra Pawula, from Always Well Within, in her new venture, The Joyful Wisdom Letter and Circle. Sandra sends a letter once a month with a unique theme to work on. As she says……
I created the Joyful Wisdom Letter to help you overcome these pesky states of mind and live your full potential. The Joyful Wisdom Letter offers a unique transformational process, which delves deep but moves at a relaxed paced.
The Joyful Wisdom Letter is not about “sexy” or “epic” or “big.” It’s about being true to your essence, whatever that means for you – from leading a quiet life to dancing in the bright lights.
Let me just say that the letters so far have been life changing…..especially the one about Patience. To say I’m impatient is an understatement. I have learned to cultivate a bit more patience since I began gardening. Waiting for veg seeds to grow as I work on weeding, or trimming plants. Trying to learn a bit more about a plant that is limping along, so I can apply the lessons in order to help it grow.
These small garden lessons have helped me some, but little did I know when faced with a challenging situation, I would find the tools I needed deep inside to move ahead in growth, and not step back into safety thanks to Sandra’s teachings.
It was the phone call we never want to get. Middle of the day, and why was my husband calling me. He had gone off with his lifelong buddy for a trip up North. When I answered there was silence, and then his voice, odd and monotone.
They had been in a car accident, he was OK as was his friend. My husband recited to me that he had broken his thumb and was waiting for an ambulance. It was awful…they hit head on. All I could answer was OK, try to listen and not react….‘stay calm’ was what my heart was telling me while my brain tried to race in panic mode.
And in the midst of this phone call, I found myself unusually calm. He was alive, just a broken thumb. But my mind still tried to race. With a broken thumb, I’ll have to be ready to take over some chores and responsibilities, and give support….oh boy I am not good with that.
An hour went by and his friend called back….I couldn’t make out much of what he was saying as he seemed to be in shock. They were headed to one of our local hospitals. But they are waiting for the ambulance as the first one took the family from the other car. They were OK too. Really unbelievable all were OK, as the collision was 50 miles an hour head on. They would let me know which hospital they were headed to soon.
So I waited for the next phone call. I decided that as I was waiting, I better get showered, clean up the dishes, and be ready to go…oh and grab a bite to eat in case I couldn’t later. As the time ticked on, I found myself doing other chores and writing to pass the time. I still was unusually calm…..but why weren’t they calling me back, it had been 2 hours!
Finally, I called them. I had not wanted to be a nagging, needy wife, which is why I waited, but something told me the wait was over and I needed to know what was going on. I can still feel the butterflies in my stomach just writing about this.
I reached them by phone just as they were working on my husband’s thumb….hearing him shout in pain did not sit well. But I finally found out where they were. I jumped in the car. I made a concerted effort to drive the speed limit, and not rush….’stay calm’ was still my mantra. No reason to rush as that would just add to my anxiety. I made it in great time as traffic was light by that time of day.
I did have a bit of anxiety trying to find parking, but finally with the security guard’s help I found it. I walked in as they were finishing up. His thumb not broken, just dislocated, and he had some stitches. But what had not been apparent in the phone call, was that his strong wall of tough composure was broken. This accident had shaken him to his core, and it was here he would need my support.
I did not panic, I did not cry….instead I found the lessons from Sandra deep inside me. My practice of these had ingrained them in me somehow, and I had found a new strength, and new ways to respond to this scary situation.
My old habit of responding to stress with more stress was quashed for now….I remained calm, and calmness rewarded me. I decided to perceive this situation as one of gratitude….thankful he was alive, and not harmed except for the thumb. This joyful perspective helped me to help him too.
My life changed that day….and not for the worse (thankfully again), but there was a shift. I suddenly knew what really mattered. I had a new feeling deep in my soul…a knowing that I was somehow different as was my husband. We could lean on each other, ‘in sickness and in health’. I knew that he was there for me, as he had demonstrated on numerous occasions. But I was never sure how I would respond when called….now I knew he could count on me too!
This new found sense of calm and patience has continued in my life….not perfect….but one where I can realize when I am slipping back, and can catch myself. I am not sure how these new lessons will show themselves as life goes on, but I know that with dedicated awareness and practice I change any habit or tenderly tend any part of me that is in need….and this knowledge gives me solace.
How do you practice patience? What new lessons are you learning?
Special Note: The pictures here are of asters from my fall garden this year. They symbolize patience.
I leave you with a few additional words On Patience. I welcome you to download the photo and share it.
All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016. Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.