Patience, persistence and trust

–Patience is natural to those who trust.” —A Course in Miracles

by Scott Kalechstein — 

In the fall of 1996, I began feeling the urge to get my own place. At that point I had never lived alone before. I had gone from parents to college roommates to lovers to housemates and back to lovers, but never alone.

Finding a place to live was always an easy task for me. I would make an announcement at the end of one of my local concerts that I needed a new home, and someone would let me know they were looking for a new housemate. I wasn’t choosy, and if the universe served it on my plate, I accepted it. I fancied myself quite adept at going with the flow.

Looking back on it, I suspect my easy-going attitude was an expression of a lack of self-love; I didn’t feel deserving to envision something I deeply wanted, then put my order out and possibly receive it. Instead, I passively made the best of whatever came along.

It is said that beggars can’t be choosers, and I was passionately ripe and ready to throw off my identity as beggar and stretch into a bigger version of who I was. I was hungry to take a big step in the quality of my self-nurturing, much like learning to slow cook a gourmet meal after years of microwave dinners.

I began the search for my new home by getting clear on what I wanted and writing it down. I spent some time meditating each morning on the following wish list for “My Ideal Living Space:”

  1. Within one mile from the beach.
  2. Tucked away in nature, surrounded by abundant greenery, quiet and peaceful, yet five minutes or so away from civilization.
  3. A lovely cottage type of place, with bedroom, kitchen, office space, living room and a nice bathroom with a bathtub and shower with good water pressure.
  4. Good sun exposure, bright and cheerful. The temperature is comfortable year-round.
  5. A great street or pathway for my quiet walks.
  6. Freedom to make plenty of noise and express myself emotionally. Plenty of space from my neighbors.
  7. An abundance of garage space or some other convenient storage space for my CDs and other stuff.
  8. The rent is $800 or less and the landlord is very nice, helpful and cooperative. He/she appreciates my music and spirituality and considers it a blessing that I live there.
  9. A cozy backyard, nice greenery and an abundance of sun.
  10. Free access to a nearby tennis court and swimming pool.
  11. The space has a feeling of a sanctuary. It feels safe, spiritual, joyous and exciting. I am certain that this is my space!

This or something better now manifests for me by November 1st for the highest good of all concerned.

Now, besides covering all my metaphysical bases by visualizing myself happily living there and giving thanks for my wonderful new home, I was also honoring the gods of practicality by telling everyone I knew what I was looking for, scouring the newspapers (this was before Craigslist), and driving around in search of For Rent signs. Several places I visited were tempting, but I resisted the urge to compromise. One place had everything I wanted except adequate sunlight. One place was so seductively close to my dream that I even went so far as to write out a deposit check, but after checking in with my heart I discerned that it, too, was not “the one.”

What was happening to me? Was I becoming a snob? Three months of courting close calls had gone by, and I was pretty frustrated. One day, while driving away from another near miss, I noticed I was starting to get weak in terms of my mental sobriety. What began as one glass of whine rapidly became thinking the hard stuff. What am I doing wrong? How come I’m being deprived? Why am I being punished?

Weary of where these victim musings might be leading me, I decided to stop the binge dead in its tracks by offering my mind a few more helpful, empowering questions: What soul qualities am I developing by having this search take longer than I want? What gifts can the universe be conspiring to bless me with through this challenge? Sometimes the right questions turn everything around. A one-word answer trickled down my spine, causing my relapse to relax and my ego to withdraw the grievance I had placed before God: patience.

Ah, patience. What was that? And where could I get some right away? Much of my life, I seemed to be on a quest for the quickest route to gratification. Looking at my wish list, I saw that it needed revising. Where it had said, “This or something better now manifests for me by November 1st.” I changed the words to “This or something better now manifests for me ‘in God’s perfect timing’ for the highest good of all.” My goal changed from getting a place as soon as possible to having patience with and even enjoying the process of finding one.

It was as if my inner child had been jumping up and down, shouting “I want it now! I refuse to be peaceful until I get it!” We had a chat, my child-self and I, in which I let him rant and rave and vent his feelings. After some catharsis and validation, he was willing to listen, and I coached him on the wisdom of patience and how much more fun we could have if we were not so outcome-oriented. As soon as I emotionally let go of my attachment to when I would find it, the perfect place showed up.

Following up on an ad in a paper for a one-bedroom guesthouse, I walked into a charming cottage-type of place in my favorite quiet neighborhood. It met all of the essentials on my list and then some. If I were a hand, this was my glove, and it fit perfectly. I imagined the writing I would do in it. I imagined how I would furnish it. I imagined filling the space with warm, loving energy. My head was buzzing as I filled out an application alongside many other people, some of them, like me, drooling with hope and desire. This place was a rare find.

I waited for the phone to ring as I petitioned the universe with prayer, meditation and some traditional begging. The next morning I got a call from my new (you can see I practice positive thinking) landlord. “Scott, we have a few questions to ask you. We’ve offered the place to a woman who’s not sure if she’s going to take it; she will be letting us know this afternoon. If she declines, you are next in line.”

I spent the following five hours feeling a wild range of emotions, including waves of fear, which came up strongly as I allowed myself to feel desire for this place. I understood why I had spent much of my life not going for the gold. Mediocrity was a safe haven from the fear of loss. I walked on a deserted beach, breathing deeply, shouting my thoughts to God, trembling out my fears of not getting it, while affirming my faith that I was being led to my highest good, and if this wasn’t the place, it would be something better. Two weeks later I moved in.

I lived in that cottage for seven glorious years. I loved the trees — avocado, apple, orange and even peach. Besides free fruit, I also enjoyed a delicious feeling of satisfaction, knowing that I had stretched out of my comfort zone of deservability to manifest living there. I was not willing to settle for anything less, and the universe faithfully rearranged itself to accommodate my new picture of reality, as it always does when we approach our desires with the three P’s — patience, persistence and perseverance.

When stocking that home with appliances, I decided not to purchase a microwave oven. It seemed contrary to the direction Spirit was guiding me in. Microwaves are about speed. And speed, whether a drug or an attitude of impatience, kills the joys of process, as well as the quality and nutritional potency of the finished product. The finer things in life usually cook up slowly, whether it be meals, lasting relationships or an ideal living space.

 

Scott Kalechstein is a counselor, coach, minister, inspirational speaker, recording artist, a lighthearted miracle mischief-maker, and modern-day troubadour. Scott’s writings are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or medical condition. If while reading you laugh your head off and your heart opens, but symptoms still persist, please see your doctor. 415-721-2954, scott@scottsongs.com or www.scottsongs.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 2, Apr/May 2010.

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