1992-10-28-Patience & Impatience
Topic: Patience & Impatience
Group: Indianapolis TeaM
Good evening to all of you. You will notice I again changed my opening greeting. Tonight, as we discussed last week, we will begin with a session on patience and impatience. As I told you, I have selected someone from the group who will present the session. During this session feel free to ask questions and make comments, and I will do the same. Mary, are you ready to begin?
MARY: Well, I guess I better be, huh? Yes, I'm ready. Probably about six weeks ago I asked Welmek in a private session, I started out asking him how was I doing? And you know Welmek, with his usual flair for honesty, turned everything around and asked me how I think I'm doing and what I thought I was deficient in.
So one of the things (there were many) that I actually mentioned at the time was that I thought I was an impatient person and I wanted to grow in my patience with other people and with myself and all that stuff. Boy, you just ask Welmek the right thing and he just kind of goes off and gives you a job to do. So my job was on patience and impatience. If you guys don't mind, I'll kind of keep it as brief as I can. He asked me how I would help my child who was in an impatient situation, what I would do. I started off saying "Well, I'd just tell him to chill out." So of course he said, "Well, how would you define that?" (group laughter) So I told him it was like "Calm down and wait for things to get better." And basically he said "How can a child relax and allow time to run its course? How can they work hard each day before they realize the fruits of their work? Their frame of reference is limited, basically." And so we went from there. He said to help a child look at the situation from a larger picture, help them to see themselves in a relationship to time. Help them to see what they want or wish to eliminate, yet can't do immediately. He said that you have to look at impatience in this way, in relation to time. So then he said this thing that I thought was kind of strange, which was "Don't be impatient with impatience." Now I'm not going to give you the whole thing, but I'll tell you what he said and I'll tell you what I understood he was saying and we'll kind of go from there, I guess. He said first one must understand what impatience means. I thought it meant wanting to change a situation immediately. He's saying, what about control? You know Welmek. So then I changed it to wanting to change the situation immediately without making any effort. He said that's true, yes, but in order to effect change, you must have control and you must make an effort. Without effort, no change is made. Without control, no change can be effectively made; and impatience occurs.
How do you guys like that? Are you following me? Or do you have to listen and read? I had to listen to it a couple of times. He says if there is no effective control, then you have impatience. Impatience is the lack of a human (and he did say, "anyone for that matter") to fully comprehend what it is they wish to change. If you wish to become more Godlike, then you must change. You must effect active change and control in your daily life in how you perceive God. That was an example.
He said, "For you must first understand what it is to be changed and then know how to make an effective approach that will make this change permanent." And he said it takes time. Therefore, as you understand more fully what you mean by impatience, you begin to see that, indeed, time is an essential factor in the outworking of this change. And then, as you recognize that it takes more time, you will become more understanding and more resolved in your desire to make these changes; two, the recognition that it will require more time to make these changes and three, that these changes are wholly and consistently doing the will of the Father.
And then he said, this is preliminary to your understanding of impatience. So it's like just a drop in the bucket. I sort of broke it down into: impatience is the inability of the individual to recognize their relationship to what they wish to change; patience, being the other side of the coin, is sort of a formula. There are three aspects to it. There is one, understanding or knowledge of the situation that you want to change; you can't just want to change something if you don't understand everything, all the factors involved in making that change, or not changing, if that's the case. Two, recognition of the time factor involved. It's not just the time factor involved in making the change, but actually you have to recognize that it takes time to understand what it is you want to change. You can't just jump into it and say, once again, I'm going to change it. And then it takes effort. You've got to be willing to do the thing yourself. You have to have the ability to make the implementation of the effort needed to make the change based on your understanding of all these factors involved.
So that's pretty much where we were when I talked to him on Monday. Any questions?
M: I have a comment. The text tells us that "Impatience is a spirit poison" and I know from my own experience that one of the factors that has been an impediment in a significant way for my spiritual bent is impatience. In hearing what you're having to say about it,Mary, I think that one thing that strikes me is the two things that I think apply to me, the recognition of time factor. I think I'm one of those persons that likes things to happen very quickly for me. And also effort. I think I'm also a person that likes to have things without having to put forth as much effort as it takes. I guess maybe I'm used to the fast food way of living, and I tend to use that as a basis for much of what takes place in my reality. I'm wondering if that's probably the way in which I'm just viewing my own spiritual advancement, hoping that somehow or another I can just go out to McDonald's and pick up my spiritual advancement, when we all know that in order for us to achieve anything worthwhile, it's going to require a lot of effort and it's going to take a lot of time. But that's all we have, isn't it?
K: Two things came to my mind when Mary was talking. One was the time element. If you think of your life as just being on this planet, in this life, then it is easier to be more impatient because you think "Oh, I only have 80 years to get these things done." But in reality you have an eternity to grow spiritually, so that then you aren't as hard on yourself, I think, if you look at it in that way. I feel sorry for people who think that this is their only chance.
And the second thing that came to my mind is I'm always saying to my daughter "Why do you react first before you allow me the time to help you with it?" whether it be putting on socks or whatever it is. She reacts and screams and becomes impatient and so I need to use that in my own life. Don't react first to whatever the situation is, kind of think about it, feel it, and then take action after that. Because if you take action after that first reaction, you're not going to do what you necessarily want to do.
MARY: He had me rethink the whole, my understanding about time, where time is involved. When I first listened to the tape again, I thought about time as far as implementation is concerned. How long is it going to take me to do something. You've got to consider it, you can't just do it like that. But I guess there are at least two more ways of looking at the involvement of time, as far as patience is concerned. One is realizing that it takes time even to understand, like I said; but also . . I lost my train of thought. Just a minute.(laughter)
K: We'll be patient with you. (more laughter)
MARY: It doesn't just take time to understand how long it's going to take, it doesn't just take time to implement, it also takes time...what did you say?
MARY: Well, I forgot whatever it was, so I'll have to come back. But there was something else about the factors of time, if you guys can think of anything along those lines, that helps as far as patience is concerned..Oh, I know what it is. You have to take the time to look at a situation before your emotions get control of you.
K: Instead of reacting, yes.
D: Having the Adjuster guide you instead of you doing it..
L: I was reading someplace about emotions and reactions, and it said that there is always thought before a reaction. And what we don't do is deal with thoughts before we get into the emotion. That sums up what you were saying.
The other thing that was said that struck a note for me was that sometimes I feel that I put out all this effort but I sometimes go in directions that seem to be real off-track or whatever. And I think something you said about being able to have the patience or taking the time to learn all the aspects of the situation so that you maybe don't waste as much time I think is part of the process of learning. But look at it as a process of exploring the topic rather than (..?..) using that as your source or solution.
L: When you search out and look for other perspectives, I think sometimes we're taught to take this idea or situation and dive into it in this fashion, and I think sometimes that might be a piece of looking at the situation as opposed to the path (?). And I think sometimes I have become more impatient and frustrated by taking some of those paths in depth and finding that isn't where I need to be.
M: It sort of takes you off-track.
A. One of the things I've noticed for me is that impatience seems to be linked with doubt. If there's something that I'm absolutely certain will happen, then impatience doesn't show up nearly as much. But if I'm uncertain and I want these things to happen, then impatience seems to be more of an issue.
K. I would like to comment for everyone to speak as loudly as they can because we do not have Brenda's machine here tonight, so this might have to pick up everybody.
J. You seem to put the control issue in a favorable light, but when I deal with my own impatience control seems to be negative. I have an impatience to know, I want to control the situation, I want to work things a certain way. I get impatient to make them the way I want them. I was kind of interested because you said control in a favorable light.
M. I think it's a matter of working out the balance between effort or control and understanding and time. So if you want a situation to change, and you want to change it the way you want to, you have to understand or recognize whether or not you're looking at all the aspects or if you know all the facts before you can change it.
K. So then that would in effect control the impatience.
M. Yes, basically, it's like self-control. But you can only gain the self-control really through stepping back enough to understand the situation. I think understanding is a real big thing here; and if you're willing, I mean it's almost like you've got to get up in the morning and say "Okay, I'm going to look back at things before I make any effort." But you have to sort of be prepared to have an open mind I guess about something before you try to make a change.
M. Peter has a saying on the wall, and I know that I can't quote it, can you quote it?
P. No, I've lost it.
J. One of the ways that I've been successfully working with my own impatience is the opposite of control, it's just letting it go.
K. Giving it to God, trying to do God's will.
J. Yes, just relaxing, forgetting about it and allowing what's coming on just to happen.
M. Well, I think there's something else involved as far as patience is concerned, especially as far as change; and that's the will of..if it's in a relationship or something and you have to consider someone else's feelings and what they want out of it. You know, that's part of your understanding. If whatever the situation is causes your relationship to sour, something that I should do is try to understand that maybe I'm not trying to force a situation or an issue on someone who either doesn't have the understanding, doesn't have the interest, doesn't have the will power or whatever to see things the way I do. So it's really self-control, it's not necessarily situational control, except where your action is positive from where you're coming from. I don't know if that makes any sense.
D. I've thought of impatience in connection with boredom. I notice that people who are overwhelmed by tasks that are assigned to them, they're not ready to quickly become impatient. People that have assignments that don't have enough content for them also become impatient. It's a matter of measuring the task to the individual's abilities. That's where we each have a responsibility to each other, if we interact, to try to achieve a balance.
M. We talked about that too. I thought that there was a relationship between impatience and boredom. Welmek said they're not necessarily related and we could talk about it another time. Of course that didn't stop me from going on anyway. It seems that boredom, how did he put it,..how did you put that the other day?
WELMEK: Are you asking me to respond?
WELMEK: And what is your question?
M. You were asleep, weren't you? (group laughter) The other day, I almost remember it really, when we were talking about impatience and boredom, I thought you said impatience, when you're impatient with a situation your mind is focused on the situation, it's simply a matter of a lack of understanding; but with boredom, your mind is not necessarily focused on what the problem is. That's as far as I can remember.
WELMEK: But that is correct, and that is exactly the distinction.
M. Well there you are.
D. It seems like there's a lot of discussion about understanding and effecting the right kind of change. It seems to me there's another side to it where many times the instances where we display impatience or learn patience is in the situations where we simply cannot change the situation.
A. Yeah, like traffic.
K. Or putting together a toy or...
C. I was wondering on the way down here, thinking about this discussion we were going to have, why it is that I can be very patient with other people, no matter what they say or do, but when it comes to my children, I'm upset immediately. But it has helped me by listening to all of you to realize that I have to apply the same thing within that I do other people. I've got to sit there and think about the situation and I have to exercise control before I think about my mouth.
M. That was the first thing that I applied when I learned too, and it seems it has made a difference in at least the way I deal with my kids now. I am more patient, a little more patient. I don't scream anymore, and I take a little more time to listen to what they have to say even if it's what I used to think of as maybe being trivial. You know, now I look at it as not being something that's beneath me so much as it's something that I just kind of need to understand this so we can work this situation out.
C. Well, I'm sure you have had changes in your family because I know I've started thinking about making requests of my son rather than demanding that he do something and talking to him in a kinder and gentler voice. And within the last month, I have seen a lot of changes in his personality where he reacts to me a lot better, where's he's not as angry with me all the time and where he is... meeting his responsibilities.
G. It seems to me, I'm a very impatient person, just ask my mom or my dad, but at school my friends think I'm the most patient person, that I never get upset with them. I don't know if it has something to do with the fact that they're my friends and I can tolerate them and can't tolerate my parents. (laughter)
K. But I have children that I baby-sit for; and they are fine for me all day long. And the minute (their) mom walks in the door they're screaming little brats. (laughter) That tension of the day, of being good, you know...
J. It's all put on...(laughter)
L. I just wanted to ask Gina a question. When you're patient with your friends and they say you're being patient, are you really being patient or are there things that you would like to be impatient about but because you don't know them as well, you have a tendency to show more respect for them. Do you know what I mean?
G. Okay, it's not that get impatient but I act patient; it's that I just don't get impatient with them.
K. Good point.
M. We don't understand ourselves as well as we think we do. We don't give ourselves as much of the benefit of the doubt, or our family. At least I don't, you know, give my family the courtesy of trying to understand where they're coming from, or myself the courtesy of saying "Well, you messed up a little bit today, but that doesn't mean that you're not going to survive." I'm hard on myself and that's not fair.
M. Look at the big picture....Mark? I'm sorry, I always forget your name.
M. It's right on the shirt. (laughter)
M. Mark. Thank you. You said something that kind of brought back part of our conversation; it made me think, anyway, along those lines. What do you guys think are the differences between patience and tolerance? Are they the same? Are they different? Or what? L. Tolerance is pretty (?), but patience is having more understanding, a deeper level of understanding...
M. More understanding.
J. I think tolerance has some understanding.
K. You don't like it but you're puttin' up with it
M. We all know that when we're tolerating someone, we only have X amount of time to put up with that person or that situation. And patience, well, you know, like with Peter's seizures, I tolerate them because I know I only have to put up with them for about 15 minutes.
D. I think intolerance many times manifests itself as impatience somewhat.
M. So you think there's a relationship between impatience and intolerance, that they're similar?
D. They have similar qualities.
D. I think they're similar too. I think if you have tolerance, which is one of the fruits of a loving relationship, a mutual respecting relationship, that you have to express that. And a meaningful way is you would be more allowing of this person to time themselves in their natural way, not trying to distort their own pace of things.
M. So you're more accepting..
L. I think it's a continuum.
M. But which is it, which end?
P. Isn't tolerance more that you recognize that you can't affect the situation, so you're going to try to survive it. But patience, you know that you can affect the situation and you're going to strive to do it, in time.
B. Time is the key for impatience.
P. Grit your teeth and survive.
P. Don't grit your teeth so hard you break your dentures.
M: So like, when Jesus was patient and he was tolerant, how did he relate tolerance in his relationships with the disciples and Judas and all those people? How was he patient? How did he effect change? And how did he show tolerance? That's a real good example, or a good way of looking at tolerance.
D: Well, could it be that the tolerance came with the characterization of the individual? If he showed a quality that perhaps wasn't a positive one, Jesus was tolerant of this quality being exhibited, yet he was patient with the individual because he was so loving and so understanding, to hate the sin but love the sinner, to tolerate the sin but be patient with the sinner.
K: He understood our humanness and that there were faults that went along with that. I'm sure he had to tolerate certain human factors of us all, of his apostles and so forth, but at the same time being patient of those faults, understanding that they were human qualities, or not qualities...characteristics.
P: I think it comes back to faith. He could be so incredibly patient because he had this phenomenal faith. And one of the things that I've heard Welmek say is that faith (?) prayer and worship. So it seems like one of the things that I see is that one of the fundamental ways of increasing our patience is to go into action, so to speak, increase or be more dedicated to our personal worship time and prayer time.
Welmek: Jesus experienced the same human experience that you do. Over time he gradually became more conscious of who he was and regained his consciousness of his dual origin. However, the human Jesus mastered patience and tolerance and many other traits as a human, without foreknowledge and without his divine consciousness.
M: You see, I was always led to believe that he had foreknowledge and he never lost that.
Welmek: This is a time for transition. First, I would like to say that I and my associates thought the discussion was excellent. All of the key elements in understanding patience were brought forth by various members of this group. Perhaps what was most important was that you were able to carry on this discussion, exhibiting both patience and tolerance of the members of this group.
When we have these sessions and I speak, you are patient and you are tolerant. However, it is important that you recognize that there are many circumstances and situations in your life where you encounter your brothers and sisters, and I am not there. It is important that you see, that you sense, that you experience, this feeling of acceptance, tolerance, patience with your brothers and sisters and that you carry this attitude with you into all of the waking moments of your daily activities. Having said that, I would now like to entertain any of your questions concerning patience, if you feel you need further clarification or understanding.
M: A question about control. I think we've heard several opinions by members of the group having to do with the role of control in patience. I think Mary and others have said that our understanding of control is controlling your own emotions or your attitude towards the particular incident in question. I think that I've heard others indicate that patience is a recognition, an appreciation for the control of the situation. Could you comment?
Welmek: Patience really has more to do with control of yourself and your reactions. Do you recall when Karla spoke of her daughter putting on her socks, I believe, how young children and even adults oftentimes when confronted with a situation will simply rush into it? It's as if you are attempting to assemble something without reading the instructions.
Each time you confront a new situation and you allow yourself to respond immediately, you are responding with limitation of your own thinking and experience. You are responding with not stopping to think of all the possibilities. You are often responding to reflexive reactions and emotions. When you think of the situation of this young child confronting something that they have not learned to do before, what would be your suggestion, what would be your hope that this young child would do when first being confronted with this situation that they do not understand or experience?
K: Get the advice of someone?
Welmek: Of course. In your minds, you say, "What is the proper thing to do?" The proper thing to do is for the young child to come to you to first describe what the problem is, and then to share their thinking and their understanding and their analysis with you. This is exactly analogous to the situation with you and your indwelling spirit. When you confront your situations, do not limit yourself by your own experience and your own thinking in simply reacting immediately. Why not find the opportunity to commune with the Father? Go to this spirit fragment within you who has all knowledge and all wisdom. Just as the young child, share your confusion, your assessment of the situation. Pray for understanding, for guidance and patience, and then allow some time to still yourself and listen for the Father's guidance. If you were able to do this, how do you think your reactions to situations and to other people would change? Would you be exhibiting patience?
Welmek: And would this patience be reflective of your own self-control? You wish your children to exhibit self-control, and so you must also do this. If you wish to help your children learn to exhibit self- control and patience, you must first exhibit self-control and patience. Often children learn to react to situations with their emotions because that is how they see adults react. Does that help clarify your question?
M: Yes, it does. Thank you.
J: It seems to me you would eliminate a lot of the "buttons" that some people have learned to push on each other.
Welmek: Yes, I believe I understand your use of "buttons". (laughter) The situation here is that you must try to understand why the other person is doing this. There must be some need. What is their motivation? Why are they trying to do this? Do they need attention? Are they jealous of you not spending enough time with them? What exactly is their motivation?
J; Maybe fear.
W: Fear of what?
K: That's right. I mean, like for instance, it's not that you wouldn't want to help them; but many people hide behind a very rough exterior and really very deep inside they're insecure and the rough exterior is to hide from the world that they're insecure. Maybe that's why they try to push those buttons. It isn't that the person who's on the outside doesn't want to help, it's maybe that that person won't even accept, won't even admit those insecurities to begin with.
M: Ask them direct questions.
W: Exactly. And if you do this in a kind and a loving way, do you not think that this would disarm the situation to some extent?
L: I think there are many situations where that does not work, at least not initially.
M: Maybe it's your manner that can make a difference. If it doesn't help or do any good to say "you can trust me", you can kind of portray the same kind of attitude, the same idea to them in your manner. See if that works.
L: I think trust is a big piece. I think that sometimes people's trust has been so damaged in so many situations, that if you don't have the opportunity to have enough contact with them that's perceived in a positive way to build that trust in them.
L: I've had an experience sometimes with people that like to push buttons, that are known for it. It's happened several times, now, that when I come across this individual, I don't know them, but when they try to push buttons or do their usual whatever-it-is that makes everyone else so angry at them, I just smile. And it's amazing. They stop trying to push buttons. It's as though if you show an affection of any kind for them, as I say, I may not have met them before, but a smile, some kind of warmth or recognition of them as a person..and I've had people say to me "Why don't they do that to you?" I don't know, I guess because I smiled at them
L: I think that's true in a lot of cases; and I think there are other situations, it depends on what your relationship is with them, it depends on how they perceive the relationship. I think sometimes it depends on positive things that are seen and they don't trust those.
K: I can always bring it down to these children's levels because I do child care; but it's like when somebody runs to you and says "So- and-so's teasing me." I say, "Well, if they don't get a rise out of you, they'll stop." That's how I can see going through adult life.
D: I think one of the things that's real important when you're working with someone who tends to want to push buttons is to really carefully examine your own agenda. If you're going into that relationship with the intention of trying to make a change, I think it's very important to try to understand that person, to see where they're coming from.
M. That was one of the things that I saw in the Urantia Book that Jesus did so masterfully. It seemed that his primary purpose was to try to understand people. He had this incredible curiosity about people. Above all other people, he understood his fellow human; and with that understanding, then, he was able to gain trust. Then once he gained trust, he was able to make selective change in an appropriate manner. But I don't think he could have done that without first having understood.
M: I have a nephew, Justin. He's a very bright, intelligent kid; but when it comes down to homework, or you know, he'll do something and you'll ask him why he did it. You'll ask him very kindly, "Please tell me why you did this?" and he will just literally clam up. I mean, you can't get him to say anything; and then he'll start crying. But he's 8 now and he's past the point of acting like a baby; but he needs to grow up some. Then when you finally get it out of him and you tell him this is not the way you do it, this is how you're supposed to do it, he goes to him mom and cries on her shoulder that I've supposedly jumped down his throat. She comes to me and tells me to leave him alone. How do you get around that kind of patience and impatience and let the mother know that one, the child is telling tales; secondly, what he said; thirdly, this is what he's doing and you need to recognize it. And she's not a very susceptive person.
M: Okay, good example today. I was sitting in the front room. Justin and Jessica, who are brother and sister, were sitting at the table. Jessica is 7 and she pushes everybody's buttons. I heard them in there squabbling. Jessica was crying that Justin had written on her homework paper and wouldn't give her the eraser. I asked Justin to give her the eraser, but I didn't go in and look at the marks. Pretty soon I heard them squabbling again, and I still refused to go in there. So in comes Justin saying that Jessica wrote F-U-C-K on his paper. So I went in there and found out that he had written it on her paper, but he didn't tell me what he had done. I whopped each of them three times across the bottom, but I left the homework alone; and when the mother walked in, I showed her what had happened and I left it to her to handle. I decided that maybe that's the only way she's going to get involved with these kids and understand what's going on.
The word doesn't bother me, they hear it at school all the time. But it was the fact that she does not deal with this sort of situation, I do, all the time and I thought she should today. How do you deal with this? By tomorrow morning, it's going to be twisted around, I know it is. You try and you try and you try, but Justin is just one of these kids who will not tell you what he did but he's willing to tell you what everyone else has done.
D: I have a comment. Oftentimes when you're working with children, they have more than one ego state just like we do. What you need to do is try and access their adult ego state...adult ego state to adult ego state. Also, oftentimes if you're really having a problem with a person, you don't really feel..and we've been going round and round with this with a teacher at school, middle-school level. We called the principal today. Things were said(?) in her class and I've had it reported back to me; and it was very inappropriate.
So last night I did a gestalt with her. I put her in a chair and I talked to her from my highest self to her highest self. "Is this appropriate? Who are we (?) Can we work this out?" Well, we called the principal this morning and everything's going real smoothly.
Even a child you can reach through your love. (sentence lost) Oftentimes you can approach them in a meditative state and say "Can we work on this?" (several sentences lost) There's always problems. And I always have to affirm that the teacher is going to love and enjoy and cherish every moment that they spend with my children, because they're not going to get their papers in, and they're not going to always do everything right because they're going to have neurological problems. But I want them to be effective and try their hardest and validate their own selves.
So every year we go through this. But I've found the most direct route is to stay centered (words lost); but I calm myself down pretty easy..(words lost).."Then I say, may I please speak to your highest self. Let's work this out. I want you to see the best in my child." And things went really smoothly today. We do that with the kids too.
M: You can take him out of a school situation, you can give this child...
D: He's probably been invalidated all day..
D: So he has a lot of anger.
M: Oh yes. We talk about his dad a lot. You can hand this child a hammer, nails and different pieces of wood, and this child can create anything at all. And I ask "How did you do that?" And I can understand "I don't know" there..
D: He is undoubtedly making up for the lack in his other areas.
M: I encourage that type of thin
G. I take all kinds of things down for him to do. This time of year I bring a lot of crafts down for them. He blocks things out, and I don't know how to get around it.
K: What do you say, Welmek?
Welmek: There are many facets to this previous discussion. I would go back and suggest first, that to go into such detail in these situations might be better dealt with in personal situations, that we try to share the meeting with everyone involved. But let's look at the situation that was being described.
First of all, as we have discussed many times in these sessions, you cannot hold yourself responsible for healing or helping every single person. As you know, even Jesus himself sometimes passed by individuals. Your first responsibility is to master yourself and your own behavior. When you are in these situations, whether they are with children or others, and we were discussing this issue of people pushing buttons, you may not be able to control the other person's behavior. The issue is to control your own. If, in fact, you do not respond in negative ways, you have first of all helped yourself because you have controlled yourself. You have not allowed emotions and anxiety and anger and other emotions to drain your spiritual energy, to lost the sense of your spirit presence.
M. It may take time, but hopefully at some point, they may be able to come to you and approach you in a better manner. Meanwhile, you have not lost control. Meanwhile, you can continue to attempt to show them a better way.
D: Welmek, in regards to patience, in relationship to time, it seems to me that there is a necessity to be persistent. For if you perceive in your estimate of what it is you wish to change will require a fair amount of time, it is the process that we have to endure day by day by day. In your experience have you tried to achieve something that required a lot of time, did you ever find yourself waning perhaps a little bit as far as your focus as time went on? And if so, what techniques did you employ to keep yourself focused on what it is you wanted changed and how to stay energized each day, to keep the energy flowing and not allow yourself to become derailed, devitalized, whatever?
Welmek: Again, there are many factors in your question and in what you are saying. First of all, I would go back in a sense conclude our previous discussion and suggest to all of you that it should be clear in your minds that first of all, self-control is a major factor in overcoming impatience.
The second most important factor in understanding patience is the element of time. There is a phrase from your text that says all things must wait upon time. You simply cannot force something before it is ready. You cannot teach something to someone who is not ready. And so you must begin to broaden your perspective, to look at a situation and ask yourself perhaps this is the right solution, but perhaps it is not the right time.
Secondly, you must look at a situation and ask "Whose will am I following?" If you envision something and you say "I must have persistence, I must continue to do this." you must first be sure that this is a value that has eternal merit to it. If you find that you continue to persist in something and that many doors are closed to you, would this not suggest to you that perhaps this is not the Adjuster's path for you?
W: If you are speaking of pursuing a goal that has spiritual value to it, do not become discouraged when you find that some days are better than others. All life has an ebb and a flow to it. When you pursue worship and prayer and you pursue to see the presence of God in each of your brothers and sisters, do you not find that some days you feel like you are making progress and other days you feel as if you did not reach any new understandings at all or even perhaps faltered a bit?
W: Then I would suggest to you that, as with anything, it is a matter of practice. What practice does over time is it (words lost due to turning of tape) at times. The daily exercise, the daily practice of worship and prayer will in time have a tremendous effect, an effect deep within you that you sometimes cannot even now consciously or fully understand. But I attest and I confirm to you that in time you will more and more feel this consciousness if you continue to practice these things each day the best you can. But again, do not be discouraged. There are days which it will seem easier, there are days on which it will seem harder. The important thing is what is your goal, what are you striving to be each day? And if you have the patience, the self-mastery, the self-control, and the sense of perspective, the sense of time, that this will be difficult, it will take time to develop these habits, then you do not become as discouraged because you simply say to yourself "Today I tried.
Today it seemed a little more difficult, but perhaps tomorrow I will break through to a new level and I will try again." This broader perspective, this understanding that things take time will take away some of the discouragement that you now experience as you try to perfect these things each day. Does that help or do you need further clarification?
W: Exactly. As we have discussed many times, you may at the end of the day, as you discuss the day with your Father, think to yourself "I seemed to falter a bit today. I lost my self-control, I exhibited impatience" Forgive yourself. Learn from that experience; and know that as long as your intent is to try again tomorrow, the Father has already forgiven you. It is past, it is simply part of your experience. Move on. Try to do better the next day. Each day, little by little, you will improve.
Again, recall the line from your text that says the best way to become a frog is to be a loyal tadpole each day. Do not worry about whether you will be a frog in one minute, or one hour, or one week, or ten million years. Simply try and do the best you can each day and in time you will gradually sense within your own consciousness that the same people who were pushing your buttons before simply do not seem to have that effect on you any longer. And you will wonder how did that happen? But it is the daily practice, it is seeking the Father's guidance that will, in time, help you to understand these things and help you to put patience and tolerance and many other virtues into yourself so that they become automatic, so that they are habitual.
W: It depends upon what you mean by intolerance. When Jesus was in the temple and he exhibited righteous indignation at the actions that were taking place there, would you say that righteous indignation means the same as intolerance as you are using it?
W: If that is the case, then I would say, yes. Love the sinner, but hate the sin. Jesus loved all humans, but he was indignant with evil or sinful actions. As long as you make this distinction in your mind and you attack the action and not the person, then there are times when a display of righteous indignation is certainly appropriate.
W: You must make judgments in your life. You must make choices between what you perceive is true and what is false. You must make judgments between what you perceive is good and what is evil. If you made no judgments in your life, how could you make the choices toward eternal values? How could life progress if in time the effort is not made by humans to eradicate evil and sin and to learn love and tolerance towards your brothers and sisters?
D: What would be some examples of how to deal with those situations where it would not be exhibiting un-love for our brothers and sisters, but yet trying to correct the situation? I think a lot of times we don't know what to do or say or how to act so that we are showing that we still love the person, that we care about that person, but we do not like what they are doing.
M: Welmek, I watch the mother of these kids go out and enjoy herself and she leaves these kids alone; and I find that very disturbing to me, a l2-year-old with a l0-year-old, an 8-year-old and a 7-year- old. And the other morning when I walked in, she was smoking marijuana in the house. It makes me very sick, and I knew what was going on the night before. How do you tell this person "If you want to do this, that's great; but take it away from the kids. They don't need that example." without hurting her feelings. She's very rebellious of anything that you suggest.
W: There are various situations, and you must make a judgment as to the wisdom of interfering. As you know, it is not suggested that you give advice where it is not asked for; and so you must realize that while you may wish to give advice, this person may not at all want to hear it. Therefore, to some extent, it will fall upon deaf ears However, there are also times when there may be loved ones involved and you feel that the severity of their actions and the potential harm upon themselves or upon their children or other loved ones warrants that you should step in and make an attempt to improve the situation.
If this is what you perceive in this situation, that it is serious, then I would suggest that you first contact this person, that you ask if there might be a time when you and that person could spend some time together alone, when there are no children or other people around. You will find that people will respond much better when you talk to them alone than when you confront them and their actions in the midst of a group.
If you are able to achieve this and you are then alone with that person, I would first take a moment to still yourself and to seek the Father's guidance, to say a prayer that you might reach this person, that you might find something that will help them find the inner guidance and the inner strength that they need to overcome this habit or this action that you see as detrimental. At that point, I would then look at the person and allow God's love to flow through you so that they may feel that you truly do love them. And then I would address them saying something to the effect that "You know that I love you, you know that I care for you. But when you do this certain action, I see harmful consequences upon you or the children or whomever it might be. I would like the opportunity to discuss this action with you to see if there might be a way that it could be alleviated or this behavior might be changed."
Earlier Debbie gave an excellent example in dealing with, I believe she said, a teacher at school? She used somewhat different words than what we might use in the context of the Urantia Book, but the principle is the same. She said that she quieted herself, that she wanted her highest mind to speak to that person's highest mind.
D. This is the same thing. It is our sense of allowing the presence of God, the love of God to flow through us to that other person. This disarms the situation, allows discussion, true discussion, true potential for a change in attitude to take place versus confronting or yelling or other behaviors that immediately build defenses and build walls.
You will also recall that she stated that in taking this approach that the results were very successful. I would suggest to all of you to take this approach and see if you find a difference in the way that others react to you. If they do not change, they do not change. Your responsibility is to do the best that you can. If you see behaviors that you believe would be extremely detrimental to these children in the long term, then again you must assess what actions you feel are appropriate for you to take to protect these children.
K: I'd like to clarify too, that when we're talking about judgment, we're talking more of judging the actions, never judging the person. I just wanted to make sure that that came out, because that's something that we don't do is judge people as if we're God, we try to seek their motivation. At the same time, there are actions that we have to judge within ourselves whether we think they're fair actions or what.
D: A real tricky area is what's appropriate for you with your background can feel inappropriate..
W: This is what we are saying.
D: I saw a reaction before I took action. I wanted to make sure that the judgment I was making was cleared up, you know, made better so that I wasn't uncomfortable with worry and concern for my child's welfare. But yes, I made a judgment. Something didn't feel right to me, in my heart. I wanted to resolve it.
C: Is there not a distinction between judgment and assessment?
W: What distinction would you make?
W: In general, there is not that much of a distinction except to say assessment is more to evaluate a situation. To move from assessment then to judgment would be to bring in the additional factor of deciding to take some type of action based upon the assessment.
C: I disagree.
W: How would you define the difference?
C: I think in assessment, you're looking at more than one angle. I think in judgment (words lost) and I don't think people make changes based upon a judgment; I think they make them based on an assessment.
D: I'm not clear if I understand where you're different. What I understood Welmek to say was assessment is an analysis of circumstances that will comprise your judgment.
D. You're not looking at the whole picture all the time.
W: That is exactly the point. I sense that Cheryl in her use of judgment attaches an immediate negative meaning to the word, whereas judgment is just a neutral term. You assess and then you decide what action should follow. If you mean by judgment to reach a quick decision or react in a way without thinking, that is the negative or poor judgment.
C: It is, but I feel that a big percentage of the population looks at it that way, because even in our group tonight we had to distinguish the difference between what we were discerning as judgment whereas if we used the term assessment I don't think we would have had to do that.
M: Whether you make a judgment or an assessment, you have to base it on your own personal experience. Regardless, it seems to me, of what you're doing, you're still using what experience you have to make that. Aren't they both going to be very similar?
D: I would tend to think for most people assessing and judging are one and the same. I don't think that a lot of people really see a difference, because assessing is looking at or analyzing and a lot of people think that judging is the same thing.
G. Whereas now my perception more of judgment, I lean more in a personal direction, but in a spiritual sense, that we should not judge somebody based on our ideas of where they should be spiritually because we are not equipped to handle such a thought process. What I hear you saying is to make a quick judgment based on lack of information on your personal reaction, I think it's more of a semantic difference than anything else.
I think the point is, again, we assess based on whatever information we can get our hands on. That's the assessing process. Then after we've accumulated this information, we then decide or judge, if you will, what course of action we want to take.
W: But I would agree with Cheryl's observation that in fact, most humans judge without assessing. They make quick, emotional reaction judgments without attempting to understand the situation, to understand the other person's motivations. In a sense, it is similar to what we talked about before. Impatience is a manifestation of not stopping to think and assess and ask for guidance before reaching a conclusion or deciding upon an action. And any time you react in these immediate ways without seeking guidance, without spiritual reflection upon the situation, you are relying mostly upon your limited experience and upon your likes and dislikes.
C: Why is it when anybody tries to help somebody else with patience and judgment, a lot of times I think people put limits on the other person they're trying to help in that if they don't see an outward change, they think that person hasn't changed, when in actuality they have planted a seed. Just because they don't see that outward change doesn't mean the person hasn't changed. But I think that's putting a judgment on the situation.
J: Although not all judgment is necessarily good. We all base our decision on information we have; and whether you call it assessment or judgment, I worked hospitals for about a year. Patients walk in and taking the knowledge you have and try to understand the situation with that individual...people misbehave, you sort out their behavior. You still care for that person, but you do have to somehow put a restraint on their behavior.
M: Cheryl, can I bring this down on a personal level? When I first met Cheryl, I guess about a year and a half ago, she was a pistol (no offense, now, hang in there with me). She was looking for someone to love and accept her, and for almost a year I got five phone calls a day, six or seven days a week. It got to the point that I said to God, "if you don't do something with her, I'm going to." All of a sudden it started slacking off because Cheryl began to grow. I have watched her the last six months, and she has come a long, long way. She's become a different person, she really has. And she does do a lot of assessing.
G. Before she opens her mouth to anybody, she will sit back and take maybe a week and assess every angle that she can think of and then she'll come to me and say this and this and this and I'll say that and that and that and she'll say "Well I didn't think about it that way." Then she'll go back and look at it again. Then when she talks to this person she knows exactly where she's at, what she's doing, where she's coming from and basically how the other person's going to react.
So for her, judgment and assessment would be two totally different things. Judgment, for her, is someone looking down their nose at her and saying "You're not good enough." And assessment is saying "Okay, this is how I feel, this is what you're doing" and she would be able to handle that.
C: I think if you judge somebody, you put a limit on them; and it's not your job to put a limit on them. All you can do is present the information you have and hope that they accept it. If they don't, that's not...that's why God gave us free will. That's their decision to make. All you can do is present what you have. You can't put a limit on or judge them based on how you think they should change.
M: I think this sort of understanding is respecting people's choices and being willing to accept that all of us are children of God and have free will and that whatever any other person decides to do is really their province and not anything that you should attempt to control.
Welmek: Oftentimes in your relationships with each other, you go into a discussion or relationship with the best of intentions, and you think to yourself, "Now if I follow this way of doing something and I am successful, then I will see this change in this person." You must be careful not to, as Cheryl suggests in a sense, pre-judge a situation. What you are doing is building your own expectations into their response instead of simply offering what you have, offering your love, offering your advice, offering your willingness to listen to them and allowing that relationship or that exchange to flow according to the way that it should and not according to the way that you have pre-conceived it. If you would allow some of these expectations to go, you would find that your interactions with others do not seem so sometimes disappointing to you. I would like to ask are there any further questions or clarifications on the issue of patience, since this has been the main focus of our session this evening, and then I wish to make a few comments before we close.
I would encourage you, as I have said before, to read these transcripts, to think about what is being said. You must take some time, have some quiet time for proper reflection upon these things. Allow the Adjuster the opportunity to adjust your thinking and your thought. But if you do not think, how can He make this adjustment? The two elements that I would suggest that you focus on as you re- read this transcript on patience are the issues of self-control, as we discussed, and upon time and timing. These are the key elements that will help you in your understanding of patience and help you become less impatient.
Last week, we had a very thoughtful and thought-provoking session on issue of prayer; and as I suggested, I sensed that at the end, while much adjustment and much progress had been made, there was still some confusion and some need for further clarification. Tonight, as you receive the transcripts from last week, take these home, read them over. Think about what is stated, what has been said. Make notes on the transcript to yourself.
Come next week with your questions concerning clarifications about prayer, and I will also add that you may ask questions about worship at the same time. These are such important factors in your progress that they simply cannot be underestimated, and we must take the necessary time to help you to fully understand to your greatest extent possible prayer and worship and the importance of them in your spiritual progress.
As we grow and as we develop, you must stay focused on the things that I have said Each day, allow some time for prayer. Each day allow some time for worship. Each day, as you pass by others, look at them and imagine the presence of God within them. Learn to see them in a different light, in a different perspective. And each day as you talk over your progress and the events of the day with the Father, learn to forgive yourself and learn to forgive others. These are cornerstones of your progress. You simply cannot progress unless you work on these things.