Patience for me is the ability to deal with challenges and handle setbacks while staying calm, cool and collected. Ahhhh, just think about the inner strength this requires to keep yourself from being reactive as opposed to being patient in order to respond from your heart. This takes practice, discipline and a willingness to choose consciously how you are going to deal with the challenges you face in life.
Do you find yourself flying off the handle when things don’t go the way you’ve planned? Are you critical of others when they don’t act or behave the way you’d like them to? Do you suffer from road rage and take your anger out on unsuspecting passersby? There are many things that can trigger your impatience, but if you don’t learn to take control of your emotions, they can wreak havoc on your relationships, health and every area of your life. Impatience creates tension in your body which in turn leaves you susceptible to illness or injury. Learning to exercise control of yourself will not only benefit you but everyone around you. Impatience is toxic to all who are exposed and must be dealt with if you are to find the peace and harmony that you truly long for and deserve.
Patience is one of the seven Christian virtues that is said to oppose wrath (extreme anger) which is one of the seven deadly sins. Think about that for a moment… no matter what your belief system is, certainly you can see the benefit of practicing patience is your life. Just imagine all of the misery that could be avoided if you were willing to try a softer and more thoughtful approach to your issues rather than mindlessly reacting to everything and everybody. Think about how you could gain the respect of others and how they might be willing to hear you and take in what you are saying if you aren’t trying to righteously control them with your opinions and judgments.
I’d like to share a quick example of how exercising patience in my relationship with my husband recently brought me great joy. First of all, I’ve been misunderstanding what patience looks like with him. I thought to be patient was to quickly let things roll off me, and I was willing to have peace at all costs. I was sweeping issues under the rug rather than dealing with them which was leaving me feeling unfulfilled. Then I finally woke up and realized that I was misusing patience and was allowing myself to be a doormat, just going along with everything and staying cool, calm and collected even though I was really feeling hurt and angry. I finally realized that in order to have a healthy relationship, I needed to set boundaries. Setting boundaries takes standing firm, speaking your truth and then detaching until the other person becomes accountable for their actions. What is actually required is to have patience with myself and the situation not the inappropriate behaviors of others. So, I tried a new approach. Instead of trying to hurry up and make things better after an argument, I decided to be patient and wait for him to approach me with an apology and an acknowledgment of how hurtful his words and actions were. By waiting patiently and giving him the time and space needed to reflect on himself, he ultimately realized the error in his ways. Exercising patience in this way required him to step up and take ownership in his part of our discord, and I was willing to do the same. This in turn inspired him to line up a babysitter for our children so we could have a romantic dinner and fun night for us to reconnect. All felt right in the world, and I truly got to experience what it looks like to be patient and honest with my feelings, set boundaries and uphold a higher standard for myself. I’ve learned these strategies from the courses I’ve taken at Intuitive Development. The particular courses that came in handy in this situation were Understanding Emotional Patters and Defining Bottom Lines. These classes help you to recognize your feelings, express them appropriately, set standards within your relationships and create heartfelt connections.
The next time you find yourself feeling impatient, stop for a moment and ask yourself what is really going on for you? What’s the true underlying reason for this feeling? Once you find the actual source at the bottom of it all, confront the person and/or situation head on, firmly and patiently speaking your truth rather than being confrontational. This is how you can enact change in the world you are creating for yourself. Once we stop trying to control others and instead take control of ourselves, we then have the power necessary to experience genuine peace and joy in our lives. We need to balance our passions by allowing life to flow and naturally unfold. When we push too hard or too fast for what we want, we actually create a resistance to it.
Stop, breathe, find the truth, confront, clear, change and be PATIENT!