Thursday, July 13, 2006

Patience with oneself

Francis de Sales

Quite a number of the people I have worked with individually over the years have experienced suffering because they don't live up to what I call the "idealized self image". They have the mistaken belief that if they judge themselves harshly that somehow they will do better. Well, today I came across a wonderful quotation that speaks to that:

Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself. I mean do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise up with fresh courage. How are we to be patient in dealing with our neighbor's faults if we are impatient in dealing with our own? He who is fretted by his own failings will not correct them. All profitable correction comes from a calm and peaceful mind.

-- St. Francis de Sales

Well, he's talking about equanimity, isn't he? I like the point that we will not really correct our faults if we fret about them. That's been my experience - with both myself and in observing others. Deep acceptance is paradoxically what helps us change.


  1. Sr Ellie,
    Isn't that exacty how we can love others tho, by loving ourselves as Jesus commanded? Can't we find balance in that?

  2. Well, yes, Monk-in-training. We can. I don't think the de Sales quote is saying otherwise, do you?

  3. The de Sales quote is wonderful, and I really like it. Yes I think St. Francis de Sales is in fact calling us to that balanced life. I was being unfortunately obtuse when I made my post! :)


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