Sunday, September 7, 2008

The P-Word and the F-Word (Patience and Faith)

Most people have a basic knowledge of astrological signs, even if they know little else about astrology. You probably know that the sign of Aries (March 21-April 19) is symbolized by a Ram. Rams push head first into any endeavor. They are the trailblazers of the zodiac. Ruled by Mars, the sign of do it now, they are usually long on action and short on patience.

God Is Not an Aries
I wrote a humorous article once called “God Is Not an Aries.” Why not? You may have noticed, the Divine One takes her sweet time about making things happen. Prayers usually take minutes, if not seconds, especially when invoking or acknowledging the presence of Spirit in a rough moment. While prayers take seconds, answers often seem to take forever.

There’s a little Aries in everyone, and today I want to talk about one of the most quoted litanies of the nuns in my Catholic grammar school: “Patience is a virtue; possess it if you can.”

My friend Jessica has five planets in Aries. This funomenon is known as a
stellium when you have at least three planets bunched up in the same sign. She has that and a couple to spare. One day Jessi was ranting about someone or something that wasn’t getting done fast enough for her. I told her she needed to learn the P-Word. She had no idea what word I meant. Jessica was the inspiration for the “God Is Not an Aries” article.

The Best Things in Life Take Time
If God/Goddess/All That Is takes His/Her/Its sweet time, there must be some higher reason why things we want take so long. It reminds me of that sign you see in restaurants. “Food made to order takes time to prepare.” Once an old friend of mine complained, “People want
Cup-a-Soup relationships.” You know, add a little water, stir, and voila!—happily ever after.

Nice dream if you don’t mind a wet noodle. A generic or so-so fix can materialize in a hurry. The speed part of this equation is the answer to any prayer. However, if you want a quality solution--if you want your life to run like a top-- quit blowing your top and tapping your fingers. Have a little patience—and faith.

The Manifestation Twins, Patience and Faith
Faith is the flip side of patience. Faith supports patience like a life preserver when we’re dumped on the choppy sea of uncertainty with no land in sight. It keeps us afloat, especially when we ache to know if we will ever be fulfilled in some important area of our lives. Will it ever happen? When we’re impatient, our faith is getting frayed. We get more patience by bolstering our faith. Each of us reconstitutes our faith in our own way, but I find words of inspiration really amp up mine. Let me share an example.

Nothing has tested my patience more than trying to get my book published. Writing a book is hard work and takes a lot out of you, especially a book as self-reflective and self-revealing as a memoir. Mine took years to experience, much less write. Now it is taking what feels like forever to find its way to the market. To top it off, the publishing industry is changing rapidly. It’s more difficult than ever, in some ways, for a first-time author to break in. I am trying to get my toe into the door of a moving target. It’s one of those revolving doors in big buildings; the passageway flies by before I can jump in.

I have many days where my inner dialogue is dismal and sometimes my outer complaining. (My poor husband.) You might recognize these phrases from your own times of frustration:

· I must be crazy to want this.

· Maybe this is a sign I’m not supposed to do it. Maybe I’ve misread the other signals (awards, publications, positive reader feedback).

· Maybe I’m actually no good at this.

· This is impossible.

· It’s too much work.

· I must be crazy!

Note these circular thought loops always start and restart with “crazy.” Sanity checks are always a good policy, but considering the number of books out there—more than ever—if writing is an insane undertaking, there are a lot of nuts running around loose. (Sometimes I think writing as an undertaking is more likely to get me to the undertaker prematurely.)

Now for some better dialogue, one of my favorites by
Oscar Wilde: “Skepticism is the beginning of Faith.” If I’m at Doubt Station, I must be on track! Other wisdom from great minds:

· Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to. –
George Seaton

· Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. –Martin Luther King

· Faith is an invisible and invincible magnet, and attracts to itself whatever it fervently desires and calmly and persistently expects. –Ralph Waldo Trine

The Extra Added Ingredient (the C-Word)
So, if we’re to believe Ralph Waldo Trine, the Manifestation Twins are actually Triplets—add the C-word Calm to Patience and Faith. (Persistence is implied in patience, already covered.)

This brings me back to the beginning—astrology. When we are overdoing a certain characteristic of one sign, in this case the impatience of Aries, the prescription for balance is to become more like the opposite sign. The opposite of Aries is
Libra. It is literally the sign of balance. Librans are known for being laid-back and easygoing. The message of Libra is the same as what any cool young kid would tell us to do—chill. It’s what the great metaphysical minds tell us to do, to quiet our chatterbox minds, whether with meditation or other right-brained activities. Naturally, my Synchronicity Meter was on target when I found the Trine quote, too. A trine in astrology is an agreeable, easy-flow of energy between two planets 120-degrees apart, a sign of ease or calm.

Join me in a mantra of patience, faith, and calm—for the publication of my book and the realization of your dreams, too. Let me know how keeping your wits—calm—and accepting the doubt in your mind as normal part of the process helps pump your patience and faith, too.

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