Do you ever just get a word stuck in your head?
It seems to just pop in there, from out of nowhere and then won’t leave you alone?
If it has happened to you, then you can empathise with the feeling that it can be quite maddening. Bouncing around the left brain, right brain, tip of tongue…
Why am I stuck on this word?
When was the last time I even heard that word?
How could this possibly have anything to do with anything?
Well if you will bear with me for a moment we’ll explore this woman’s descent into the rabbit hole chasing not a white rabbit with a pocket watch, but what at first was an equally perplexing moment . As I began to pursue a word initially perceived as confusing, irrelevant and outdated.
So the rabbit hole I jumped head first into was Google. We’ve all done this just type a word in the answer appears, right? Sometimes though not only is it not what we were looking for but as in this case I found myself asking even more questions.
The word I could not let go of is forbearance…
Hey Google, what does this have to do with me? Mortgage not an issue here, and yet out of the more than nine-million results this is what the first several pages of results highlight?
I was in a contemplative, meditative state when this word forbearance stuck to me like crazy glue and here I go again, there has to be a reason, so let’s refine the question a little.
Ok Google, “forbearance definition’….
Okay better. Now more than 18 million possible responses, but you know what this one I can work with. And yes I see the secondary explanation is the mortgage thing again, but I’m focused on what is front and center.
Hmm… patience… endurance… tolerance… I just used all three of those skills in searching for my answer. There must be something to this forbearance thing and how it relates to our shared path of “Becoming”.
Just making a small adjustment adding a couple of syllables to my request, gave me a much clearer picture of the impact of this word. I could begin to realize it’s relevance, how it directly related to me, my life, our paths of “Becoming”.
I knew I had heard the word before, though could not remember when, so that led me to the next step in my search, the Scriptures.
So I stumbled into Matthew 9:13 (ESV): “Go and learn what this means, ….”. Well that’s what I thought I was doing. Anyway then I stumbled into, (I never said this would be a straight path), Colossians 3:13 (TPT):
Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them.
Bearing with, yes bear is part of the word forbearance. It also takes us back to the patience and tolerance mentioned in the dictionary. Forgiving as we were forgiven. Always a good reminder. Especially when we need to forgive ourselves, so I think we are getting closer.
Then I arrived at Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV):
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
I think we may have arrived at our revelation.
Forbearance is patient self-control, restraint and tolerance. I need that.
Wonder if that’s why in quiet contemplation this word adhered to me and would not let go?
Patience is something I have always struggled with, especially being patient with myself.
I have to remind myself, I am human. I have faults. I will and do make mistakes and that’s all okay. That’s when I need to practice positive self-talk the most. Because if I don’t I get mad.
I mean really mad. Anger is something I am continually working on releasing.
By that I no longer mean suppressing it until the anger exceeds mad and becomes pent up frustration which festers into explosive rage. I’ve been there, done that, have the scars to prove it and do not intend to go back there.
Psychotherapists will tell you anger acts as an emotional alarm for our brains. Any sense of an overwhelming negative feeling like disappointment, fear, guilt, shame or rejection can be a trigger for anger.
While for some anger can be an early warning sign that they’re feeling something that they don’t want to be feeling, for me it has seemingly always proven to be destructive.
It can and has negatively impacted my physical health and mental well-being. While we have been taught to keep it all inside. Hat is not a lasting answer. Sure there are times we need to temper our temper and not escalate situations, especially ones where an outburst can put us in a place of physical danger, but instead we need to embrace it.
Much like our shadow sides, anger exits, We need to acknowledge it, and rather than just try to dismiss it, accept the responsibility for releasing it, overcoming it and returning ourselves to a state of “Becoming”.
From lessons I’ve learned here are some tips for overcoming anger. Much like the steps for becoming more patient, both include mindfulness and controlling your breath.
Probably not the first thing you would think of but when you feel yourself losing control to anger, close your eyes and count to ten. I have found many times it will provide immediate relief. I also encourage myself to breathe more fully throughout the day, both when doing my daily workout and as I perform necessary tasks. I have found not only does it relax me, but has had nenefist to my physical health as well.
Meditation helps us to focus, slow down and develop an attitude of gratitude. Being grateful is an esy prescription for healing ourselves from anger.
Talk To Someone
Though I recommend not immediately talking to someone who makes you angry, is the current source of your anger or that person who knows just how to press your buttons. Talk to someone you know can listen, be supportive and can be encouraging. There are reasons why pastoral counseling and therapy exists, because you are not the only one. Others have been and are where you are at, and through conversation we can begin to heal, learn and be “Becoming”.
Releasing anger for me is the first step in contemplating and comprehending this concept of forbearance. I am actively working at shifting into it as an attitude, part of my daily state of being.
Self-control, restraint, tolerance they all come easier when we are able to move beyond anger and be more patient.
Forbearance encompasses many parts of our “Becoming” –
Patience. Trust. Faith. Humility. Meekness. All qualities that are of great service here among our shared path we call “Becoming Today”.