Monday, April 30, 2012


I follow the Dalai Lama on FB and Google +.  Today he posted about patience.  

"...The practice of patience guards us against losing our presence of mind. It enables us to remain undisturbed, even when the situation is really difficult. It gives us a certain amount of inner peace, which allows us some self-control, so that we can choose to respond to situations in an appropriate and compassionate manner, rather than being driven by our disturbing emotions."

Humans are amazing.  We can suppress the urge to kill each other by using patience.

I normally consider myself really patient.  Lately, that has not been the first adjective that I would have used for myself.  Oh, I've been patient with my goals and such, but lately my patience with people has waned. 

In the past I have had to exercise extreme patience with my son.*  Kids with processing problems need patience or else they start to feel unworthy.  (They need love, too, but that goes without saying.)  I think I've always had the ingredients for that kind of stamina, but I think my son taught me Industrial Strength Patience.  I later had "patience refresher training" when I helped my mother care for an Alziemer's patient and my dementia-suffering grandmother, all under the same roof.  

I think being a parent has increased my capacity for love, and therefore by association, patience.  I am less likely to, say, sucker-punch a lady if I look at her and think, "Bless her heart, she's someone's baby.  I guess I'll just put my fists back in my pocket."  This strategy has worked well for me, so I stick with it.  

The trick, I've found, to employing patience to avoid multiple homicides is directly related to 2 things.  The first is money.  Being paid money to be patient.  The more money they pay you, the more patience you have.  Any geriatric nurse or Fox Studios errand boy will probably agree with this.  It's horribly true.   Money can fix many problems.  And those it can't fix, it can at least render neutralized for a while.

The other thing that is directly proportional to patience, is love.  Good old, sucka-fool love.  If you are a parent, you know this. If you are caring for your aging parents (and haven't killed them yet), that's love working right there. Good on ya'.  

Well, it works most of the time.  I have a few friends who test my patience on a regular basis.  One or two of them do it everyday.  In unique ways, I love them.  Lately, I have had to juggle a couple of these noodle-heads along with everything else.  I try to do the "someone's baby" thing with them, but it only works for a second or two until the next sentence comes out of their mouths.  My defense is like a phaser blast that just impacts on the surface. It doesn't go in.  So I desperately whip out the auxilliary strategy - I pretend they have cerebral damage.  But they vote and drive cars and such!  My logic tells me they would not be able to do these things if they were truly incapacitated, so I get upset again. This has happened over and over lately. 

So I sit and ponder, "What can I do to be more patient?"   Well, I can't change them all.  (I can influence them, but I can't change them.)  I can change me.  I can change my reaction, my choice of words/retorts, my interactions.  It's the right thing to do, and it's cheaper than hiring a violent crimes lawyer.  Like my buddy DL up there says, "...patience... allows us some self-control."  
I want self-control. 

The problem is actually my perception.  I perceive an issue that rattles my view of the world, and I react to that. Therefore, I should only have to change my perception of the world, or of the idiot  -I mean, per-son in front of me, or stop and acknowledge that this is a situation that I cannot control, and I should trust in something greater... to key their car for me.**  

Perhaps, with this new strategy, we can see the following scenario, instead of crime scene tape:

Friend:  I'm going on a trip and I'm going to leave my car unlicensed in a remote location no one can get to. hahaha

Me: You're an idiot. I am impatient with your behavior.

Friend: Hahahaha.

Me: Let me help you fill out a power of attorney for it, and I can register it and take care of that problem.. again.  (Bless his heart he's someone's kid.  :/ )

Friend:  Nope.  I want to make it difficult so I can learn things.  Learning is so much fun.  It will be awesome to experience the pain of learning.

Me: Have you ever had a CAT scan of your frontal...?  Oh never mind.  (Auxillary patience strategy depleted.)

Friend: The car is not street legal, by the way.

(Here is where I have to guard my presence of mind.  Friend is young.  He is learning. He's allowed to make mistakes just like I was.  People were patient with me, I should pass that forward to him.  The perception of the scene changes, and I can be patient because I know I only saw it from my point of view.)

Me:  I won't kill you after all.

Friend: Hahahaha

By the way, Friend is actually a great guy.  Love the kid.  He should write about the picture-perfect stupid things I do.  It would be a good thing.

*I'll write more later on autism because I feel I need to share with other moms who may be going through that emotional roller coaster.

** I don't key cars and would never do such things, but I imagine it would render some level of satisfaction.


  1. you crack me up! so funny to "hear" what you are thinking as outwardly you appear to be the most patient human being on earth!

  2. if you follow with the zen buddhist philosophy of how the world rolls... the car is already keyed... ;O)