This is not something that comes naturally to us in this busy, instant-gratification world. We want what we want when we want it. These days we can get what we want delivered right to the door with the simple click of a button. We have become accustomed to ease, simplicity and a frictionless world…for the most part. But, when we stop to think about it, our ability to practice patience is tested most with the things that are outside of our control.
It’s when we receive a diagnosis but have to wait for treatment.
It’s when our power goes out and we have to wait for help to arrive.
It’s when our loved ones are suffering as they prepare to transition from this world to the next.
It’s when our children are in the midst of a long-winded (albeit important story for them) and we have a million things to do in a set amount of time.
It’s when we are stuck in a holding pattern waiting on someone else’s timeline.
It’s when we are in a hurry up and wait situation.
Patience isn’t a character trait that comes naturally or easily to many of us, but it is an important skill to develop in order to strengthen our resiliency and prepare us for the adversity that life will inevitably send our way. This week we are encouraged to find our calm. We each have a different mechanism or pathway to find our centeredness. For some it may be a couple of deep breaths where for others it may be necessary to remove ourselves from stress by going for a walk or meditating quietly. For me, activating patience comes when I find myself centered and grounded. You see, patience only exists in the present moment. From this place, I can think a little more clearly, shift perspectives when I need to, breathe and recognize what I have control or influence over and what I don’t. This awareness creates the space for a mindset of “it is what it is and I have done what I can in this moment.” The thing is, patience is closely related to letting go. Letting go of the need and pull to control that which we can’t…to release the stress and the insanity of wishing that reality was different than it actually is. Patience is experienced when we truly let go of the wants, the needs, the attachments and the expectations.
I LOVE the Serenity Prayer daily, as I find much comfort and awareness through it, perhaps you will too:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
This week, let’s take notice of where and how we practice our patience, and trust that the more we exercise patience the better prepared we become for what’s ahead.
It really does take patience to be patient.