Sit still. Be quiet. Just wait. Not now. Do what I say. Because I said so. No more. You’ve had enough. Keep practicing. Don’t quit.
Do these words still echo in your mind from childhood? Perhaps leaving a dissonant echo? Maybe you even vowed never to say this to your own kids—but probably did anyway!
There are virtues behind each of these phrases that many of us have rejected because we didn’t like the early learning experiences. Silence, Patience, Obedience, Restraint and Discipline are powerful virtues that could benefit both our society and ourselves as individuals, but most of us don’t have cultivating these virtues on our list of New Year’s Resolutions.
The trouble is we look at them from the perspective of a child, perhaps a misunderstood, shoved in the background, unheard child. Yet these virtues can open the door to a more successful life if understood from a new perspective.
Silence is the doorway to the Deep–the dark waters of pre-creation where the Spirit of God is stirring, that voice of our own deepest wisdom. Patience allows us to wait for the message, the unfolding of our being instead of rushing ahead in a wrong direction. It allows us to love ourselves in our state of becoming, even when we’re in those messy looking transitional states. Obedience is not to a harsh external parent or judgmental God but to the still small voice within that guides us. It helps us to answer the calls that may scare us but that we know are right for us. Restraint is the negative space in the artwork that allows the beauty of the art, or our souls, to shine forth. Discipline is spiritual practice and persistence, being committed to the good despite temptations.
As we start the year 2011, once again we collectively re-focus on the good that we desire and the means to achieve it. This year, consider reclaiming these old-fashioned, unpopular virtues and expect great benefits.
If you are interested in this subject, I am speaking about this at Unity Community of Central Oregon this month. I invite you to join us or listen to the recordings once I have them on my website.
During the month of January, Rev Jane Meyers will be exploring these virtues each week at Unity Community of Central Oregon. Unity’s services are held at 10:00 on Sundays at the High Desert Community Grange, 62855 Powell Butte Highway in Bend.