Monday, July 29, 2013

Patient Trust

I was reading an article about Michael J Fox and came across a quote that I just love.  He said, "My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance and in inverse proportion to my expectations."

He was referring to the onset of Parkinson's Disease, which occurred for him at the age of just 30. 

His positive outlook, accepting what can't be changed in his life, and embracing the good things, have given him a new kind of freedom.

I just love this, the idea of  preferring what IS in your life, so that you can go on and rejoice in the good stuff that will invariably come your way, sometimes because of those huge challenges. 

You ask any married couple, 'when was the best time in your marriage?'  Many of them will answer:  "In the beginning.  When we had little --a small apartment and big dreams, when we were struggling together and learning to lean on one another."  In my own experience, the times of struggle -- not necessarily with each other, but with situations that we faced together -- have become the glue that has made our marriage even stronger.

I don't share a ton about my personal life on my blog, because many of the stories aren't mine to tell.  But, the past couple years have been hell on wheels, let me say that much.  And there are many days when we're still rollin'!

I am forever striving to accept what is not mine to change, and stay in the moment. Because that's where I find peace.  Looking behind, there is often regret.  Looking ahead, I tend to worry, that things aren't moving in the right direction fast enough, or that they may never get better.  It's my nature.  I'm a worrier.

One of the things that has helped me keep things in perspective and given me loads of peace is a prayer poem that I came across a couple years ago. It has become a sort of personal Creed, and I recite it and pray it with as much conviction as possible, sometimes for myself and sometimes for people I love who are struggling so. Because sometimes it's just all you can do.

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability ---
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually --- let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don't try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will  make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
--- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ


Mari said...

Really great post! And a good thing for me to read today. :)

Melinda said...

Great post and poem!
Life is rough and tumble
and tbose time that we ars not
in control are some of the roughest.

We just keep on keeping on and hope
for the best!


linda eller said...

This is my first visit to your blog from Mari's and I can say that I relate to what you wrote and I dont even know you. The poem is great. I will share mine with you:

If the struggle you're facing
Is slowly replacing your hope
with despair,
Or the process is long
and you're losing your song
in the night,
You can be sure that the Lord
has His hand on you
safe and secure.
He will never abandon you
You are His treasure
and He finds His pleasure in you.

Mereknits said...

Karen, such an amazing post today. I think many of our lives have been Hell on Wheels and I applaud you for saying that. I am a worrier just like you, and frankly I have lots to be worried about, these past few years have kicked my butt but I keep Faith and I keep moving forward because that is all we can do. I am always here for you my friend, I hope you know that.

Dewena Callis said...

Karen, thank you for your honesty in this and your discretion too, that protecting loved ones is so important. This past Sunday on Thistle Cove Farm, Sandra had a page of quotes about trust, excellent ones. We never know what another person is going through and even when it's in the past there is always that little worry, "Are they okay now?" I don't like to live waiting for the other shoe to drop, a weakness of mine, so I try to live with trust and faith.

Your prayer poem is wonderful. I am so sorry that it has been a rough time for you. It is impossible to spare a loved one or friend from what they go through, sometimes. All you can do is keep loving and praying for them. And cooking. We need good food when times are the hardest!

Thank you for your sweet comment on my post. I am so glad that your writing project has been there for you too.

Judy said...

Beautiful post Karen.
And I understand about some stories not being ours to tell.
So much we can't change, but thankfully our attitude about things is not one of those things.

Susanne said...

Beautiful post, Karen. I needed to hear this today. Good for my own life and also to remember that we never know what another might be going through and to treat all with love and kindness and encouragement. Saying a prayer for you as you hang on in trust.

Flat Creek Farm said...

That was just the thing I needed today :) Thank you! Happy Labor Day! -Tammy