Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I Want Patience Now!

Yesterday morning, I read some posts where people were commenting on the God -given gift of experiencing love and tolerance toward our fellow man, woman, AA member, you name it.

Everyone acknowleges that this is hard but it grows with maturity. As the old-timers say, aging in sobriety has given them a great deal of patience and tolerance. These two important qualities don't drop into our lap at --oh, ninety days--and become part of our spiritual took kit forever.
Yesterday I commented on someone's post: someone who faced as I did, a meeting wherein some folks would drone on and on, never minding anyone else's right to speak. The blogger asked for patience and tolerance to realize that we never know who plants the seed in the alcoholic's head. At the end of the meeting, a newcomer woman stood up, and she said: "I have heard exactly what I needed here this morning, and I'm ready to stay sober today."

That was awesome, and I took that lesson into my women's meeting yesterday morning. We read from the Big Book and then go around the table sharing our comments or our realities. There are about 20 of us in an hour and a half meeting. If we all share briefly, we make it around the table.

I prayed for patience and tolerace as woman after woman talked at length about sobriety. having babies, dealing with using friends, having bad dreams, their ex husbands, their lives as problem drinkers, and on and on it went. Our long-time members were two beacons in the fog, but they didn't say anything about people shortening their talks. The story we had read was "Doctor Bob' nightmare" and I wanted to hear about that, to talk about recovery from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.
But I remembered the girl who stood up somewhere else and said thanks, this will keep me sober today. So I kept my mouth shut when I wanted to slap some people with the book and cry out anything after three minutes is ego!!!!

There were two minutes left for me to speak at the end of the meeting. I have no idea what I said. But I practiced patience and tolerance for and hour and a half, and when it was over, I heard several women say to one another, that's just what I needed to hear.

I have a lot of patience and tolerance to learn. I asked to learn it. Where better to pick it up in the rooms of AA.

The photo here is of my brother and his grandson, learning out to blow blubbles. This is patience and tolerance in action, and I love it!!!!!!


Beth Niquette said...

What a wise woman you are! To have learned patience and tolerance--and then to practice it!


Brian Miller said...

i can definitely use an extra dose of patience and tolerance...not sure you can ever have enough. as a counselor i watch people make the same mistakes over and over...and i have wanted to slap a few too along the way...i am sure i have needed a few slaps myself though...thank you, just what i needed to hear today. smiles.

Steve E said...

How neat, to be discussing Patience and Tolerance less than one week into a new year!

Standing in cashier lines is where I was taught to be an excellent gym to keep my patience in shape.

So I began talking to Peeps in line just everywhere.

Amazing how it changed me (for those moments, at least!) and often changed the attitude of those around me. Just some cheerful words, even faked will do. NOTE: This is not "me" all the time!

Syd said...

Amen, thanks for reminding me about patience and tolerance.

big Jenn said...

I learned a long time ago not to pray for patience because God will keep giving me situation after situation to learn patience. Yikes! jeNN

Lou said...

Too funny about learning patience and tolerance in the rooms. People can certainly veer off topic in AlAnon, but I remember what a mess I was in the beginning. Thankfully no one slapped me;)

Beth said...

Patience is a funny thing. I have more patience with kids than adults.

When my oldest son was 4, he once told his 2 year old brother (who was having a fit), "Calm down. Patience is a virgin." Funny but probably more true than not.

David said...

I think I deserve some credit for teaching you patience at the Gazette! At least it seemed as though I was. Unintentionally of course.

Prayer Girl said...

I have had my share of meetings where people droned on and on. I've even done it myself from time to time. I used to want to jump out of my skin and would sometimes leave the room on the pretense of going to the bathroom. (Who can prove one way or the other?) Over the years, I have grown more tolerant. When I begin to get antsy I remember who is in charge in my world - God.

For me, this is all a part of growing up and learning to live with other people in this life. My learning curve is very slow. :)


the walking man said...

But have you truly learned Patience and Tolerance if you are SCREAMING inside your head or have you simply learned to keep your mouth closed?

Just Be Real said...

Super reminder dear one. I love the picture. I always enjoyed chasing bubbles as a kid. Maybe I should take it up again. ;) Blessings and hugs.

Shadow said...

good for you. after all, we cannot control another. glad you had the wisdom to know and patience to let it go!

Enchanted Oak said...

I loved Beth's "Patience is a virgin" story. It seems apprproiate for a group of drunks who are learning the meaning of patience and tolerance with each other.

A Walking Man deserves a bronze shoe for his reminder. Does true patience and tolerance exist in one who has learned to keep her/his mouth shout but is SCREAMING INSIDE HIS HEAD?

It is easier to act my way into a new way of thinking than to think my way into a new way of acting.

One of the AA tenets that kept me coming back...One must start somewhere.
And I have learned to keep my mouth shut when my opinion hasn't been asked and nobody's life is in danger. Is this patience at work?

The Second Road said...

“Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in one ahead.”

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Ask anyone, I am the most impatient person on this planet. I try and try but it never fails to challenge me.

Tall Kay said...

I have been screaming in my head all day at what I 'should' have said at the meeting this morning.

Who gives a sh*t about rebels in Guatamala, when I wanted to hear recovery and solutions? Your timing with this could not have been better! Thank you buddy.

Anonymous said...

Anything means everything to someone.

Something is always better than nothing.


~ Tabitha ~ said...

My Mother used to tell me that " patience was a virtue" only it took me YEARS to figure out what the hell virtue really meant.
Becoming a parent taught me though.
And my customized recovery ;)

Let that littel grandboy of yours remind you what patience really means and enjoy the experience of being :)