The Journey Of Allowing The Self To Let Go Of Patience.

An old co-worker posted this Meryl Streep quote online today, and I agree with every part of it...

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” - Meryl Streep

There's no denying that everything that you encounter in life - every bit of energy, whether it be positive or negative - shapes you into the person you are in the present. And for all that has shaped me, I am grateful. But while it has pushed me to be the person I am, along the way I realized that certain ideas and things were no longer healthy for me because they were holding me back. And I have become more sensitive and aware of energy and things that hold me back in ways that aren't going to help me grow or shape me.

My main focus each day is on compassion and love.  Not on receiving any of it, but pushing it out out from me. It's one of the things I focus on in meditation and my yoga practice... I visualize calmness flowing out of me and into the space. If others sense it and receive it, great! If not, no worries.

But many times, I can feel people around me aggressively trying to "suck" it out of me. Like a vacuum. Have you ever felt that? Someone, possibly even someone who doesn't even like you, making you feel drained? On top of that, they can make you feel negative. You try to lighten the mood... You invite them into your personal space, in the hopes of helping them, but you end up having all of your energy sucked out too.

There is a difference between existing together and sharing energy that is compassionate and productive... And being compassionate by sharing energy that is leeched and not given back.  And as I mentioned, I began to wake up to this behavior of mine of being so focused on compassion that I felt guilty for not giving it... Even if the person or cause I was giving it to was clearly taking advantage of it.

I still believe that everyone should be nice to everyone. I believe that you should always push out compassionate energy in every situation - even if your greatest enemy is right in front of you.  But I, too, don't believe in being patient and staying around when any of the following are all you get in return:

  • Arrogance
  • Negative comments that are clearly not intended to be constructive (Example: "You're too old to do this..." versus "You're so far along in life now, it would likely be difficult." Or, "You've made so many decisions, you've probably screwed your chances for X, Y, or Z..." versus "You've made some risky choices, which may make it difficult for you to do X, Y, or Z...")
  • Exaggeration that is intended to make you look bad and them look good (Will admit that I have done this myself.)
  • Inflexibility with compromise 

Even if people apologize for some of this type of behavior, that does not mean you should continue to give that person the attention and thoughts/energy.  Help them/engage with them where you can, provided that it doesn't mean going over you boundaries of personal space and energy exertion.

And that's what I have learned the most in the past few years... Distinguishing between how to be compassionate but not drain myself where it's not going to be worth it.

Compassion is a given. Patience is continuously earned.