Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Waiting Is Not The Same As Being Patient © by Irina Serban

Everywhere we turn, we hear someone telling us: "Be patient! Wait for the results of your work to bloom!", or: "You don't know to wait, and good things come to those who wait!"

Well, I know that, perhaps, it will come as a surprise to you, but I say: "Good for you, you don't know how to wait!"

Patience has nothing to do with waiting.

Patience is a virtue.

Waiting is a 'Never mind! If it's meant to be, it will be' philosophy. 

Patience is active.

Waiting is passive.

Patience implies two subsequent stages:

1. Action, and 
2. Probing

What do I mean? Here’s an example. I'm a writer with a dream like many other people who live having a dream. I want to get somewhere, to achieve something, to write T-H-E book, which people can't live without, etc. I know I can't get there, like this, in a snap. So, I have to ACT: I write four - five days a week, I read, I learn about my craft, I study, I do research, so on and so forth. Then, it's the probing time. I wait for the results of my work, I see the feedback I receive, the reviews, the response to any marketing plan I might implement, and, as I’m waiting, I'm already starting getting better in my writing, learning, marketing. I take what I receive, I learn the lessons, and I keep moving.

On the other hand, waiting in the sense of staying there put for a subjective amount of time to see if what you did works or not is not at all a virtue of those with strong will. This kind of waiting is an awful excuse for non-action, for lack of professionalism, for postponement, for believing in hidden forces that will shift and turn the universe around for you without you having to do anything in exchange, it's the 'I trimmed and sliced the vegetables; now, I'm waiting to see if they jump in the pot and start boiling into a delicious soup' attitude. I always hated this kind of waiting. In fact, ‘hate’ is too little to say. I despise it, and whenever it shows it's ugly face to me, I know it's high time I took a short break from everything and recharge, reground for then, to come back fresh without the need to wait while doing nothing.

I was over medicated with waiting recently, when my son got sick. It started with a trivial cold. The paediatrician said: "Go for natural remedies: herb infusions, hot tea, honey, lemon, and let's see how it goes”. Two days later, my son comes with fever. The paediatrician: "Paracetamol, and aerosol. Let's wait for two-three days, and see how it goes." Other two days passed, my son worsened. She: "Let's put him on antibiotics 5 ml every twelve hours, and wait for two days to see how it goes." Yeah, you know it by now, my son got even worse than before. She: "Let's change the dose to 6ml every 12 hours and…" At his point, I didn’t let her finish, telling her it’s useless continuing with the same antibiotic since my son didn’t show any signs of improvement. It had been 6 days already since she kept trying the same thing on him without even giving me a plausible diagnosis.  And as Einstein said: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” When she called me impatient, and one who should mind her own business because I was not a doctor, I forgot all about my good education and told her to go to hell. After sending her to the eternal flames, I took my child to the ER. Other tests, the same freaking antibiotic and advised to, yeah, WAIT until we get the blood results. We went to a different paediatrician who, when seeing the blood results, said "Oh my God! Oh my God! Mrs Serban, his condition is very serious. Let's put him on 5 ml every eight hours (the same antibiotic) and... (yeah! again!) wait!" Having enough of waiting, we took him to our family doctor. When he saw the huge file of papers that we gathered, each with a different diagnosis, but the same treatment prescribed, and the same waiting written in small letters at the end, couldn't believe his eyes. He took the phone, called the ER section, scolded them a little, asked to be put in contact with the ENT doctor, and sent us directly to him. Well, useless to say, that they told us that we had to pass through the paediatrician's control first, and then, if the paediatrician considered it urgent, to get to the ENT section. Our family doctor told them something nice type: "Incompetent! They’ve been there! You sent them home as they came. You can't keep a six year old child with 39 C fever, and over, for eight days and tell them to still wait." It was a relief to know that I was not the only one who had an aversion for this verb. Thanks to him that very day was my son’s last day of fever.

This got me thinking to these ‘waiting’ and ‘patience’ concepts that are overused nowadays. And if I despised waiting before, now I loathe it. Waiting is the excuse of one's lack of professionalism and preparation. What do you do when you have no idea what you are doing, or wanting to do? You wait: for better astral conjunctures, for rivers to flow differently and winds to blow from the east, for miracles to fall on your head. If none of the above happen, you grope in the dark for a while, and maybe, you stumble upon another petty idea that you put into practice and go lying on your back again counting how many times the sun rose or set to see if it works.

I'll keep going, working, doing my best with as little or as much as I have, I'll keep treading and walking on this wonderful journey while being patient for all my efforts to be worthwhile one day. Or maybe not, but I know I'm going to have one hell of a ride, because I'll be running hand in hand with the rolling seasons and not lying on a comfortable chaise longue waiting for my ten-year ago book to become a masterpiece while watching, passively, how the seasons reel by.

Learn to be patient! Stop waiting! Start doing! Enjoy the journey! That's my motto! I'll wait and rest on the Other Side! Maybe!

"The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them.” (G. B. Shaw)

© Copyright 2014 Irina Serban. All rights reserved

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Hiding the Moon © by Irina Serban - quotes

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Sliding Like The Moon, Bleeding Like The Stars © by Irina Serban

   The sky must be made of ice for there is no greater beauty than seeing the moon slide on its black surface. Or maybe, that's what the moon wants us to believe, because one night, I seemed to see that the blackness belongs to her hair covered with a thin, dark-blue veil carried by black ravens, as black as night. She always glides proudly, gracefully, keeping her chin high and demeanour serious.

Sometimes, she intently stops in front of my window. Suddenly, there is no rush in her walk any more, there are no other corners of the world waiting for her light. It's just me, and her, and the relativity of time. She stares at me with her big, round, silver eyes, and I can presently feel her scolding me as to why I’m sitting still when there is so much to be done, so much to be discovered, so much to be shared.

What does she know? She only sees the carcass of a wandering soul. If she's so wise, she should know I'm there, with her, every night, travelling, seeing what she's seeing and adding to it what I'm feeling. She should know that the body she sees is just a house where my soul chooses to come and go at his own will. She thinks that running to and fro is doing something, when, instead, standing still is the most difficult journey for it is walked in solitude and silence, without ravens carrying your star-embroidered veil.

She keeps looking at me in full amazement for two nights, then, she wanes, bored by my stillness, leaving behind a few bleeding stars torn from her veil by my wish to see her longer.

Sliding like the moon, bleeding like the stars, my soul returns home and urges me to sweet sleep and dreams about worlds where the moon knows we are as wondrous as she is for we leave trails, and we bleed light in our sliding.

© Copyright 2014 Irina Serban. All rights reserved

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Promises © by Irina Serban

   Promises made to be kept. Promises made to be broken. Promises made to people. Promises made to ourselves. At different times in our lives, we promise a lot of things to a lot of people. Maybe, we end up by breaking their hearts or winning their trust. Yet, the greatest and most difficult promise is the one shaping inside us and made to the Force that holds the Universe together, like a pact between two powers, which, at times, collide, and other times, work together. Call that force God if you wish! (I've been taught to name it God, too!)

Life, sometimes, brings us on our knees, and having no place to contemplate upon beneath, we look up and give our pledges. The Force that keeps us down, on our knees, is exactly the same Force that will push us back on our feet again: Faith. And I don't mean religious Faith (not only!). I mean that little voice that keeps murmuring feebly: “Tomorrow things will be better!”. That's why we are there, in the abyss: because we don't hear the voice of Faith anymore. That's why, when on our knees, we're looking up: because we hope we haven’t lost Faith completely. We promise to the Universe that we'll change, that we'll become better, if It grants us one more chance, if It stretches Its hand and helps us get back on our feet.

Something moves, energies shift, and light pours down in the abyss where we fell. Suddenly, we're up again, and we remember the promises we made. We start working our way through them, and hopefully, keep them, not because of fear of punishment inflicted by a God who stays up there stern and judging our steps, but because we feel it's for our best. By falling we learnt something, and we have to apply the lessons. Otherwise, we'll fall again in the same precipice, and we know it's not so nice sitting in cold, lifeless darkness where only the pitter-patter of tears and sighs is the music.

Darkness is lonely: no one will ever follow you there. For there are as many “darknesses” as many of us: unique, contorted, personal, chaotic like the black holes in the vast Universe.

I've been on my knees many times, and it is those times that taught me the best lessons and polished the best version of myself. It is those times that taught me the most tremendous thing: we are the Force that keeps the Universe together! We are the essence of God!

God lives in us as He lives around the whole creation. He is the linking thread, the tying knot that keeps us all together. He is that voice that we hear when we are desperate. He is Faith, but above all, He is Love—the one and only force that makes us look up searching for light every time we are on our knees.

We are creatures of Love, and we can't breathe in darkness. Our struggle is not because of hardships, but because we contort in darkness. Our souls cry, stretch towards and long for light. And we keep looking up, searching. Yet, the energy that creates, the energy that heals is in us. It always creates through bursts of light, explosions. Apart the beauty of such a show, there must be pain involved, too. We intuit that, we know it, nevertheless, we’re thirsty for that light.

I learnt not to search for light in the skies, but to jump in the abyss inside and search it within, to follow that voice that whispers “Tomorrow things will be better!”. I would find God sitting on the throne of my soul, right on the edge of that abyss, the edge between irreversible falling and soaring. I would find him smiling and caressing me with Love that takes away all the fear and pain, and I would hear Him saying:

“Keep going, and do what you promised me you will do! Not only the promises you’ve made now, but also those pledges you made when you were part of me, unborn and formless, when you told me you're going to make your own legend once I send you into existence. Keep that promise!
Don't be afraid when you are surrounded by the blackness of despair! Don't worry if you cry, for crying happens only when you're already getting up! The most violent storm, the thickest blackest cloud subside to the first drops of rain.”

So, let’s do our best and keep our promises! Let’s search within for Faith, Hope, Love—the energy that created the Universe itself. We are part of it like a child tied to his mother through the umbilical chord. We are a whole, a universe inside a universe, chained with interconnected links that grant our existence: ours, the little humans with great dreams and aspirations, and God’s, the universal force, with great loving thoughts poured in our souls.

© Copyright 2014 Irina Serban. All rights reserved

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