How often do you find yourself being told, or telling someone, Be Patient? If you’re like me, quite frequently. I’ve gone through most of my life being reigned in by “Be Patient”. There are just some things that you want to have right now, immediately. What I’m learning is that my impatience is closely tied into Worry, as well as me trying to control every facet of life. Being Patient is not a skill to learn, but rather a state of being. It is the ultimate living in the present moment.
Being Patient: Letting Go of Our “Best Laid Plans”
I was in a conversation over the weekend, talking about plans and hopes for the future. We were discussing how much we would just like our plans to just happen, and “work out.” As we were venting our frustration of having to practice patience and wait, I was reminded of a quote I came across recently.
I’ve been reminded of all the times when things didn’t go the way I planned. It turns out those times were much better. For example, at the beginning of our marriage, we found ourselves living in a really crappy apartment. It ended up being clear across town from where my husband got a job. We had one car, so I was stuck at home all day with a baby. We were so impatient to leave this apartment, that once we had the financial means, we found a better one, closer to work. Long story short, it didn’t work out. Plus, we ended up losing the money we put down on the new apartment.
That all being said, when our lease was up, we found an even better place to live. It was a townhouse, which was bigger and closer to the office. We even had a little deck outside, with a flower garden! What’s more, it had the flexibility we needed when we had the opportunity a few months later to pack up and move to Europe. An event that happened extremely quickly, and one we couldn’t have possibly planned for.
Accepting The Life That is Waiting for Us
For me, the hardest part of Being Patient is not really knowing what’s ahead. The road of my journey has been full of twists and turns. It has been full of unexpected surprises, as well as lessons learned. If I were to go back, to any part of my journey, and live the life I planned, it would be a very boring existence indeed. Instead, I have gotten to live a life full of adventure.
As I’m typing this, I’m seeing how much time I’ve spent worrying about the road ahead of me. Instead of moving through life, with an expectation that the road I’m travelling will always take me where I need to go. I have been trying to travel at a snail’s pace, just in case. Just in case the road runs out or is in need of repair? Just in case it turns out that I’m miles off course? I really have no idea.
As with most fear, this is irrational. I have nothing in my experience that tells me that I should expect a terrible road ahead. Quite the contrary, I should be expecting wonderful, amazing things to turn up!
Being Patient: Living in the Present
Patience is truly an example of living in the Present Moment. It is saying I have dreams and aspirations, but I am not going to try to tell the Universe how to get them done. If we are really living in the Present Moment, there is little place for fear or worry. As a way to bring ourselves into the Present Moment, we can ask:
Is there any action I can take, in this moment, to further my goals/dreams/aspirations?
- If yes, then Act
- If no, then relax and move on
I have been trying to practice Patience for a while. I have just recently discovered that Being Patient is not an action to be taken. It is not some virtue I have no hope of living up to. It is simply part of a practice of living in the Present. Patience is another way for me to see that I do not need to be obsessed with plans for the future, regrets of the past, or with the layout of the road I’m journeying on.