It has been a few weeks since I last wrote anything for The Policies of Starting Over, and for this, I feel I owe at least a small explanation. I am not the type of person who enjoys forcing ideas, I feel like there is a certain amount of authenticity lost whenever things do not come organically. If I push too hard, the result becomes something I am no longer willing to assign my name to, but if I am patient and I allow the words and thoughts to flow as they are, something magical happens.
I am a writer. I have loved it my entire life and recall writing my first “poem” when I was only six or seven. I think it was something about how sad it made me to pick wildflowers from the ground because I knew it caused them to die. Once, I remember getting so upset with my younger sister because she started to pick dandelions for our mother, and I told her she should have just gone and gotten her so she could have seen the entire field instead of a handful which would wilt all too soon. This thought process took root and grew with me quickly, but only recently have I seen its relevance in my life today.
When we want something, what is the most normal human reaction that occurs? We reach out and take it, right? Frequently, the impulse to just have whatever it is that we are after takes control and in the process, we forget that by practicing patience and letting that thing develop and present itself to us in due time, we are making a longer-term investment in it. We pick the flowers instead of planting the garden.
Our own impatience often results in us having things that were not meant for us in the first place. One of my favorite lines in the world is, “Curiosity killed the cat, but Satisfaction brought him back,” and while this can be true of some things, it is most definitely not true for all. Curiosity acts as inspiration and it is only natural to want to indulge the feeling and push for more, but unless it is tended to and nurtured, satisfaction may not be the end result. My grandmother has a small greenhouse, and her yard vaguely resembles a southern botanical garden, which is the result of her mastery with flowers and her endlessly patient and gentle spirit has taught me time and time again about instilling time and effort into things.
A better illustration I recently heard is the difference between the microwave and the stove. The microwave boasted its quick, efficient method of heating food, and that soon, stoves would be a thing of the past. In response the stove gently replies, “You may be faster, but I am far more reliable. I take more time because when you want something done too quickly, it often loses its quality.”
So that is our policy for the week. When you start over, allow yourself patience. Patience to heal, to move on, to begin again. Instill time and effort into these steps. Do not beat yourself up because you feel like it is not moving fast enough. This life is all too unpredictable to waste your time trying to plan everything out. You are neither behind, nor ahead of schedule. You are exactly where you should be.
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