The Gifts of Patience
Why are we all in such a rush? That is the question I asked in my first book, Stop Living Life Like an Emergency! and I’m still asking it. We are so busy, expectant, and impatient, demonstrated by how we react to a slow computer, delayed flight, or transition that takes longer than we expect.
I am very familiar with all of these, especially the last one, because when I left the yoga studio after teaching there for 10 years, I naively thought it would be easy and effortless to find a new home. After a couple of months, I became frustrated, second-guessing my decision, and wanted to jump right into another situation (that was not a good fit) to escape my feelings of uncertainty. I am grateful my impatience did not get the best of me.
Impatience is our belief that something in the future will be better than what we have right now. All we have is the present moment, but many of us spend our days waiting for things to change, get better, and get done, instead of opening to all we can learn about ourselves while we are here. These are the gifts I receive when I practice patience:
- Clarity for what I don’t want
- The importance of being true to myself
- Living with uncertainty is uncomfortable, but not fatal
- New appreciation for how long things take
- The power of slowing down, vs rushing up
Patience is a powerful resilience skill because it forces us to slow down and become aware of our thoughts and feelings. Whatever transition you may be experiencing in your work, relationships, or health right now, see if you can practice patience and receive the gifts that come with it.
Thank you Diane for the reminder. We are not in control of others which leads us to be impatient with what is going on around us. I think of it as our “reset” time. Why do I need to have this done right now? Why do I need to have these material things? Why do I think my time is more important than the next person? I find I get impatient when the environment I am in is uncomfortable or unknown to me. So I work through the “whys” about it. I look at what I can control which is only myself and my emotions about the situation. This thought process has helped me remain calm and patient is some stressful moments. This has opened me up to new experiences. It is true that when one door closes, another opens. But we have to be open to it also. The gifts are endless.
I love asking why! Thanks for sharing your wisdom Michelle!
Talk about timing! This very topic is my life right now as I wait to see if I will move from an Interim Department Head position to Department Head. Thanks for the reminder of the need to slow down! Teresa
Good luck with your new position of Department Head. You’ve got this Teresa!
Always timely and useful information in your newsletters. I look forward to reading them.
Thank you Ruth!
Very well said! That’s why I love retirement….I can finally take my time!
Thank you Debbie. I’m glad to hear you are taking your time as I know many retirees who get more busy when they quit working!
So timely. Our move date has been pushed twice, our family is living separated by 1500 miles, we have had 2 busted contracts on our house and it seems that every single day the plot thickens with more let down and disappointment. Things are completely sideways. I am trying to sit patiently and wait for what’s to come but it’s hard to not get spun up in what’s not right, right this second. It’s hard to not fret over details of the next 30 days that are still very fluid and yet to be determined…and completely out of my control. Thanks for this. I am bookmarking to reread when the panic starts to take over…the reality is everything is as it should be.✌🏻🧘🏼♀️
Oh Alice, so sorry to hear about your circumstances. And you are wise to see that this provides such an opportunity to remember everything is out of your control, except how you respond to the let downs and disappointments. Kind of a microcosm of our lives, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing yours.
I loved using this for my meditation this morning. I spent time with the 5 gifts of practicing patience, especially the first two. Through this I realized that “the mustard seed” came to me, realizing identifying the times I am impatient, knowing what I can and can’t change and pausing to bring wisdom to that is a helpful guidance to patient. Thank you for your newsletters!
Good for you Bev! I think we all need reminders for patience in this fast paced world we live in.
Living on a sailboat for two years taught me a lot about being patient with all the the issues you have no control over, such as weather, equipment malfunctions, sailing skills still sketchy at times, learning how to navigate new cities. The list is endless whether you are on land or water. Transferring those skills back to living on land were less difficult as I realized there was more room for thinking things through, nothing seems as dire on land. Life lessons are so valuable. Thank you Diane for providing the opportunity to reflect on patience.
Thanks for sharing your life lessons from a sailboat, Judy!