Week 1, Day 5 – Patience

The exercises for today were:

  1. use the technique of gazing into the water and streaming to write down what you feel about patient people in your life.  How could you honor the patient person in yourself? How is patience useful as you better develop your spiritual nature?
  2. pictures hold clues for what the culture wants for us and what we want for ourselves.  Take several magazines and find pictures that encourage patience or discourage patience.  Use streaming and see what you find out about the culture, yourself, and perhaps who you want to be in your future.
  3. set up a dialogue about patience between two of your teachers. Write it out and see what you can learn from it.

If I made a list of ten people in my life who have taught me invaluable lessons they would be the following:

  1. My bubby, which is Yiddish for grandmother, who taught me to silence my self and listen to the spirit within.
  2. my wife, Zoe Davis, who taught me that love was and can be unconditional. 
  3. Miguel Don Ruiz whose writings helped me bring an end to my own suffering.
  4. Osho, whose writings helped me to understand the difference between belief and faith
  5. Dr. Diane Samdahl, who gave me the courage to face my demons and insecurities
  6. Meg Christian, who reminded me that it is all about the journey and that “great wisdom from painful experience is an inside job!”
  7. my mother, Roslyn Kamin Jacobson, who taught me that love was the greatest gift one could give
  8. my son, Nicholas Maurice Chambers Jacobson Johnson, who taught me the transformative power of love and faith.
  9. Jorge Rieger, who is a constant reminder to me that the larger our welcome and affirming of human diversity is, the greater our understanding of the Creator is.
  10. my father, Avram Lyon Jacobson, who taught me the importance of being responsible for one’s behavior and words.

As I sit and think about some of the people in my life who have touched my life, I am humbled that I have been blessed with so much wisdom, love, and guidance.  Some of those who have been teachers in my life are people I have met and known personally.  Others, are people whose writings have touched my life in profound ways and while I have never met them personally, I feel a spiritual connection to them.  I am so grateful to each of these individuals for the lessons they have taught me.  I am also grateful to the Creator for having given me eyes that can hear and ears that can see.  It is through these that I am able to experience an intimacy with the Creator that surpasses my own understanding.

If I could sit in a room with two of these teachers and listen to a conversation about patience with them, I am not sure who I would pick.  To be honest, I would love to be in a room with all 10 of them, especially my parents, Roslyn and Avram, who I miss so much.  As I think about their love for me and my brothers, I am reminded of how patient they were in helping us to grow and develop.  I am not saying I always agreed with their parenting approach, but the one thing I remember from both of them is their unconditional encouragement to be the best person you could be.  Neither of them ever wanted me or my brothers to settle for anything less then our best.  The thing I would hear from my mom all the time was I know you can do it.  Have faith, like the little engine that could.  Know you can.  Know you can.  How many times in my own work with people have I passed that powerful legacy down – telling my students all the time, I know you can.  I know you can.  I know you can.  And then cheering with them as they move through the fear that was trying to hold them back.  I miss my father, who allowed us to really know each other after my mother’s passing when he realized I no longer was a 5 year old with pigtails.  I will always remember that day.

As the tears flow down my face, I realize that the two people I would want to be listening to most right now are my parents.  I miss them more then words can express.  My prayer is that you can hear the love in my words for you somehow, that you will know that you will always live in my heart.  I know you are always with me. 

Mom    Sharon, your father and I are so proud of you.

Me       really.

Dad      yes, but as you tell others, continue to be gentle, patient and kind with yourself

Mom    patience means that you give yourself permission to evolve at the pace that is right for you.

Dad      you tell her mom, it is not a race.  That is what she told me about my healing after you passed over to this side honey.

Mom    yeah I know.  she was so patient with me when I was moving over here.  You were both so patient with me

Dad      me patient

Mom    yeah you – don’t think I don’t remember all the times you took care of me when I could no longer do that for myself.  All the times you changed the linens in the middle of the night when I had forgotten how to go to the bathroom.

Dad      I just wanted to make sure you were ok.  I didn’t want you to suffer.  I felt so helpless and just wanted to do what I could to make your life as comfortable and pleasurable as possible

Mom    I know.

Dad      I wasn’t always the most patient person, you know.

Mom    I know J

Dad      I know you do.

Mom    but when I needed you to be patient the  most you were.

Dad      it was the least I could do for you – you were and have always been the love of my life.

Mom    yeah, once I got you to ask me out J

Dad      yes, but even then you were the patient one – you pursued me until I caught you J

Mom    yes, you did J

Dad      and you were patient with me as I learned how to release my anger, and to stop drinking and using alcohol as a way of medicating myself.

Mom    I tried, but I did lose my patience with you remember and threatened to leave.

Dad      yes, I remember.  But you didn’t and our love and commitment and patience with each other, helped us take our love to a level I had never experienced before.

Mom    yes dear, it did indeed.  I guess we were both patient with each other at different times in our lives.  Although I am not sure I was as patient with myself at times.

Dad      what do you mean?

Mom    I would be so frustrated at times when I was sick.  I wanted to remember who you were at times.  It was frustrating at times trying to convince myself and others that I was ok.

Dad      I can imagine.  but you never let it show.  You got so creative with all the labels you put around the house.

Mom    sometimes I had to be patient with myself as I learned how to be more patient

Dad      yeah – me too.  There were times I would become frustrated and then I would have to learn how to be patient with myself.  Even in my frustration.

Mom    so baby gurl, what have you learned from us this day.

Me       that I need to be patient with myself as I continue to grieve you both not being in my life.  I have learned that even when I am going through, I need to be patient and loving and gentle and kind with myself.  It really is all about the journey.  I have been reminded of how much I love and miss you.  I am reminded of how patient you were with me as I came to love myself.  I am reminded of how important it is to be patient with each other as we grow and evolve in this life.  I am reminded of how our patience with ourselves and others can evolve over time.  It is important to be patient with ourselves in all times and in all situations.  Even now, I must be patient with myself as I sit with my memories of you and the lessons you taught me and shared with me.  I love you both so much!