THE COLUMN

Issue No. 79/ March 30, 1997


BY MONDAY

IVAN HOFFMAN

I wish I could have learned to be patient a long time ago. I have known the language of being patient for many years, over two decades, and yet I have not had the patience of the words. Not until now.

To be patient requires self-love. Patience is about letting go and trusting that the universe, God, is in control of our lives and that the universe, God, will provide what we need when we need it. We cannot learn patience from books, nor even from Columns. We can learn patience only from the happenings of our lives and then only if we see those happenings as lessons.

Rushing is about control, making things happen when we want them to happen. If what we believe is that we are the sum and substance of our entirety, if there is nothing besides us, then by all means control should be the essential operating system. And that operating system was how I operated for much of my life. Clicking on icons and waiting for new screens to immediately appear.

I was always in a very great hurry. Rushing toward some goal that was at best short term, although I never understood it as short term at the time. The goals I hurtled toward in my life always seemed the "be all and end all" type goals.

The "by Monday" type goals. The goals of youth.

If only this would happen, by Monday, then I would be happy. And then I would get "this" and still not be happy for there was yet another goal on my horizon. And if only I would get that goal, by Monday, I would be happy. If only that would take place, by Monday, then I could do this as a result. And "that" would take place and then I would do "this" only to find that there was still more to do.

If only. The language of impatience.

Control is tiring. Everything that I controlled still did not bring me peace.

It turned out, as I look back, that all I ever wanted and mostly all that I never received, was about learning patience. Of course I did not understand anything as lessons in patience at the time. I wanted what I wanted when I wanted it.

And make no mistake. I have been given much in my life so far and I am grateful that the universe has sought fit to bless me in the way that it has. But most of what I have been given has really been important because of what it taught me. Indeed, part of the blessings of my life has been that I have been able to see lessons in everything.

For the universe, God, knows far better than do we what we need and, more specifically, when we need what we need. For in order that we may see the lesson in that which happens, we must first have happen that which happened before what is now happening. Each thing that happens is a necessary prerequisite for that which happens after. And if we foreclose the earlier happening because we are in a rush, then we may not see the lesson in what comes later.

This may seem self-evident now but when we want to have something happen, by Monday, we often do not consider that we have not had any of the prerequisite events yet take place.

Everything in my life has been about the lessons. Few things have been about the things themselves. And the sum of the lessons, if there is a single sum, is that the universe creates at its own pace.

Our pace is measured against the parameters of our known lifetime, say 70 or so years, and so if we do not get what we want, by Monday, then we deem ourselves "behind" schedule.

My experience tells me that our lives are not finite, not measured by calendar years, nor by decades, nor by generations. My experience tells me that our lives are infinite. The universe has its own parameters. It takes patience to trust in the universe.

There is no Monday in eternity

© 1997 Ivan Hoffman


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