A Lesson in Patience: At the Water’s Edge

PondLakewoodLane (7)The anxiety had been lurking inside me for years. I was holding everything together so well. I created a decent life for myself, was doing work I enjoyed, and was professionally successful, and then one afternoon all the unfinished business of my emotional life caught up with me in the form of an accident and whamo! I had an opportunity to study anxiety up close and personal. It was complicated, aggravating, and very scary.

One predominant emotion I felt was impatience. I worked hard to educate myself about anxiety, attended a peer support group twice a month, meditated daily, ate right, ran regularly on the treadmill, got enough sleep, read and wrote inspirational material—and I deserved to get better, immediately! But recovery was taking its time.

One afternoon I walked to a nearby pond and sat on a bench. A plant poked up from a clump of grass at the water’s edge. I studied it a few minutes and then asked, “What can you tell me about patience?”

Almost instantly I sensed a response: “Come back tomorrow for an answer.”

I laughed. I felt better. Just being there at the water’s edge was all that really mattered. Root yourself in the present.

I took a deep breath, soaked up the sun and fresh air, and enjoyed the quiet company of the plant, and for probably the first time in my life I understood the meaning of patience.

A tiny spider with a meal in its mouth ran across one of the plant’s leaves. Another message: a spider spins a web—and waits—and is rewarded.

I’d done what the spider had done: laid the groundwork, set up the conditions to “catch” my prey—my recovery—and now I was just enjoying the moment, as the plant seemed to be doing, knowing that things happen when they happen …. not a moment sooner or a moment later.

I didn’t go back to the pond the next day to be told the meaning of patience. I already received my answer.

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By Kathleen Hawkins, www.WinningSpirit.com