Patience is a quality that usually develops over miles of rocky terrain. I remember, before becoming a mother when I was 25 or so, the sound of a baby crying and screaming would go through me like an electrical current frying my nerves! I was one of those people on airplanes that felt annoyed by screaming children. Now, many moons of parenting later, the sound evokes compassion and concern in me. When I noticed this new response I realized how far I'd come in developing patience. Not that I am at all close to perfection, I just have different challenges, like trying to fit a willful five year old into a time schedule!
One way patience comes is by enduring the same frustrating circumstance over and over again until we master it or are no longer affected by it. Like a mom of three boys unflinchingly said, nothing they can do would surprise her any more. When her sons were young she said it took all of her energy to try bring sanity to the house, and herself. She was completely overwhelmed by the noise and chaos when the three of them were playing together inside.
Over time she grew to accept that her boys would always be unpredictable and full of energy. She said that with time to herself, some soul searching and nanny support she finally found the balance between giving them space to work out their arguments and setting limits on what was acceptable in the house. She would not have been able to find this clarity without the patience she had developed or the impulse to look inside for what she needed. Many of us can relate to this mom and how a little bit of alone time to get clear makes all the difference.
There is another step we can take to grow our patience in less time and without all the exasperation. We can meditate on strengthening and developing our inner support system. When we fully understand how to release impatience and consciously reach into our inner resource, we can re-pattern ourselves with harmony and patience. This description might sound more complicated than the process actually is! Put another way, we all have a loving, calm, responsive and even state of presence inside of us. It is in our reach. Once accessed, it can take charge and give your fried nerves a rest!
Join me for a meditation on developing your unwavering sense of love and patience so that you can be more present and responsive, rather than reactive, with your children.