I don’t remember exactly where I heard or read a phrase about being the beneficiary of other people’s patience. I do seem to remember that it was in a negative context and that it had to do with the decline of existence.
Something like, “with nothing left but to be the beneficiary of other people’s patience…”
I’m beginning to think that, while I hope that I am far from such a place, perhaps I should be a bit more patient with myself.
Last month, after a particularly busy run of things, I was hit by a kidney stone. The sharp little bugger took some time to pass, and I must admit that when it did I was left feeling quite diminished – a feeling that has yet to dissipate completely.
While others in my life have afforded me their support, kindness, and yes, even patience, I do not think I have allowed that same to myself.
Giving Myself Permission to Heal
I have had a cascade of old multiple sclerosis symptoms revisit as I recover from the kidney stone, and I find myself stating aloud how much I hate MS. I battle harder against a wall which feels twice as thick as it was before – and let’s face it, the wall of MS can be pretty damned thick all by itself.
I chide myself by saying “Just get through this” and “Don’t give in” when what I may need more is an understanding inner voice granting me permission to take some time and heal. Perhaps this is a lesson we could all use from time to time.
This sense of slower than usual recovery (this isn’t my first kidney stone) and the feeling that the stone took a little bit extra out of me this time could simply be a factor of age. That it’s compounded by MS cannot be denied, however. I’ve been going through a bumpy patch and it’s been evident to those around me. They’ve offered me kindnesses when I have simply judged and pushed myself.
I needn’t be just the beneficiary of the patience of others – I believe I must be the benefactor of that same patience with myself. I’m all about can-do thinking and a positive attitude, but I also think a bit of self-administered kindness will go much further in this particular case.
I look back on a number of missed blog posts in October due to my circumstances, and I have felt guilt and inadequacy. Knowing what it took to just get those few thousand words written, I feel overwhelmed and, again, a little bit inadequate.
These are the times that others – particularly my wife, Caryn, and my editor, Rose – have offered me patience and kindness and support. Knowing how good it feels to be understood when a situation becomes difficult, you’d think I’d have learned to understand myself and be a bit kinder to the man in the mirror.
I appreciate the gift of patience I am given by others. I believe it’s well past time to self-gift a bit of it, too.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.