I have always been an easily frustrated and impatient person, which is evident in old videos from my youth. I remember one in particular where I can be seen chasing my brother around the yard. Since he is older, bigger, and stronger, I cannot catch him. Suddenly, I stop running and stand there, arms straight by my sides. I’m sure if there was audio to accompany the video, you’d hear a loud “Humph!’
Because of this, I have often prayed for patience. When I was in high school, I had heard that Amen roughly translates into the words “So be it”. When I first heard this, it was magic moment. I had always thought of Amen as the bookend to a prayer. I begin with Dear God and end with Amen. “So be it” now felt like waving a magic wand and what I ask for would appear. Ta da!
Needless to say, this caused me to pray more fervently for patience. But instead of feeling patient, I was presented with many challenges that tested my patience–situations where my frustration rose. Not at all what I was praying for. Clearly, I was missing something.
Many years later, I was sitting on my yoga mat and ended my sun salutations with a short prayer. Again, I pleaded for patience. (Did I mention I am also persistent?! ) This time however, when I finished with Amen, I suddenly heard the words “So be it” in a whole new way.
It reminded me of the scene from The Wizard of Oz when Glinda the Good Witch tells Dorothy that she’s always had the power–she just had to learn it for herself. After her long journey, she is told she possesses all she’s ever needed. I must admit when I was a child and got to this part of the movie, I was a bit miffed. You mean to tell me that Glinda knew this all along and still encouraged Dorothy to go on the long convoluted yellow brick road journey–which included those damn flying monkeys–when the whole time she already possessed what she desired? Seriously?!
But I suppose that Dorothy never would have met the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion had she not taken the yellow brick road. They locked arms and together they faced challenges and learned they already were smart, big-hearted and courageous. Dorothy also learned how strong she was by surviving those damn monkeys and defeating the wicked witch. All those experiences were part of learning it for herself.
Maybe the same is true for me. My life has also been a yellow brick road journey, filled with supportive people I’ve met along the way and my own version of the damn flying monkeys. All the situations and challenges that tested my patience in the past now appear to have been opportunities to grow and practice patience. They were necessary to help me see that I also have the power. I just needed to learn it for myself–and to BE it.