Last week, I started this series with a brief recount of the events that followed after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and countries all over the world started taking measures to protect their population. As a result, life changed for everyone and it seems it will never go back to being the same.
This requires us to adapt and do life in a different way. How is our old way of life taking a new shape while we do normal things under new rules?
Grounding and Developing Patience
For the longest time I’ve seen myself as a free, spontaneous soul who always chased after her dreams, free to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to do it. Oh, single life! (sigh.)That’s how I tackled life and life was great. Then, I got married and I had someone to share all that with which made it even more fun. We had a blast the first few years of our married life, three years later, I became a mother and life changed forever.
A child alters your life so radically. Becoming a mother is one of the greatest things in a woman’s life. A true gift from above. But this wonderful gift comes with an enormous responsibility. Caring for someone so defenceless who depends solely on your care for their survival is daunting. It requires making immediate changes in every aspect of life as you knew it. Your baby’s needs come to take center stage in your life with such force that you live and breathe for that child sometimes even forgetting about yourself. At least, that’s what happened to me, as a first-time mom. You quickly learn that with a small child spontaneity won’t do. What works best is grounding yourself for the sake of stability, for the process of growing together as a family. So, when I talk about grounding, what I am really talking about? The English Cambridge Dictionary defines it as follows:
- a knowledge of the basic facts about a particular subject
- the act of preventing a ship from sailing or an aircraft from flying
It is so interesting to consider this in terms of life as a mother and a writer. I did very quickly learn that there’s no more rushing and running around, deciding on a whim what to do and where to go that is healthy for your family. That simply does not work anymore, it’s not good for the kids and it’s certainly not good for you either. Besides, part of maturing as a person and as a parent also means “sacrificing” your heart’s desire for someone else’s needs. And, who better to do this for than your own child, your family?
Motherhood also teaches you patience. Waiting hours for a child to fall asleep, or take a spoonful of the food you’ve reheated for the fifth time, or repeating the sound of letter “M” over a hundred times.
Writing also forces you to exercise patience. Not only because it takes time in every step of the process but also because it means working without seeing immediate results against all odds and for the love of it solely. It means to keep on working tirelessly with all of life’s interruptions in the way only supported by your passion (which in time can also fade away). From the learning of how to write to the conceiving of an idea, to pouring it into a book to sending it out to the world and then waiting to finally get published one day, one of the main requirements for a writer is to develop patience. Patience is something we need to learn in this life.
Let’s see how this word is defined. According to the English Cambridge Dictionary:
- the ability to accept delay, suffering, or annoyance without complaining or becoming angry
- the ability to wait, or to continue doing something despite difficulties, or to suffer without complaining or becoming annoyed
More interestingly, though, is how the Bible defines it. This amazing word has so many additional nuances in the Scriptures but all tie in beautifully giving this amazing concept a profound meaning which establishes its importance in life.
Patience according to the Bible:
- We first find patience as something that begins with our Creator. Romans 15:4-6 talks about how patience originates from God and it’s called “endurance.”
- Patience is also listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22 and it’s called “longsuffering.”
- Patience is described as a product of self-control and is part of Godliness as we read in 2 Peter 1:6.
- Patience amazingly helps us grow during difficult tests of life that the Bible calls “tribulations” in Romans 5:4, through patience we grow in experience and with experience we slowly arrive to hope.
- In Romans 15:4 we are told that with and through the Scriptures (reading them) we grow patience but we also can find comfort.
- James 1:2-4 gifts us this beautiful verse when we are confronted with fighting our human nature and the development of patience:
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
- Patience also allows us to be strengthened and blessed by God: Psalms 27:14 it’s something that’s linked with the notion of waiting:
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
- Psalms 40:1 talks about what we can get rewarded with when we exercise patience. In this specific case it is God answering to our calls:
I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
- Finally patience is pleasing to God as we are reminded in Ecclesiastes 7:8:
Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
What to Do
When you understand the importance of being grounded and the need to develop patience in your personal, family and professional life you need to search for your priorities and seriously consider them in order to act. Give everything its time.
Also, know that doing this sometimes leads to entirely letting go of your dreams, sometimes definitely, sometimes only for a while.
Some people forget or set aside their dreams for good, devoting themselves to whatever came their way, be it children, family, work, etc. Sometimes you can enjoy the ride that way and find happiness if somehow you chose and/or decide, at some point, it is what you want. Other times you don’t have a choice but to accept it.
Some people don’t ever let go of their dreams and prioritize them over other things or people in their life. Perhaps they can afford to do that, but the truth is, not everybody can. I did not have that chance with the choices we made as husband and wife and as parents making a life overseas, without the support of family or close friends.
What I learned is that grounding and development of patience do mean postponing dreams for a while, at certain points in your life. But it doesn’t have to be a permanent situation. At some point, you can decide to begin working hard to fit your dreams in your crazy parenthood/working days even if it’s a little later in life. That’s exactly what happened to me.