The Paradox of Patience
Happy Truth Thursday to you!
When you imagine yourself being patient for something or someone, is the image that comes to your head one in which you are sitting, twiddling your thumbs, just waiting ... patiently for that thing or person?
Anytime I’ve thought of patience, I’ve somehow automatically ascribed a passiveness to it. Someone says “be patient” and I think to myself, “okay wait and do nothing”.
I have only just recently realised that the state of being patient is the exact opposite of inactivity. In fact, that is when one needs to be the most active. Essentially, 'patience' can be substituted with the word ‘preparation’.
When you are truly being patient, it means that you are in the act of preparing for that which is to come.
This is an important thing to note.
Patience is not grumbling and rolling your eyes because your time has not come or you have not blown (become wildly successful). Patience is not crying “woe is me” and feeling sorry for yourself while you wait on God or man or fate for that thing you want to see in your life. Patience has nothing to do with being passive or waiting with no action. Patience means you are getting ready for that which you are being patient.
If you’re being patient about your career success it means you are doing all that you need to do now to bring about the success you desire for yourself. If you are being patient for a spouse, it means that you are improving yourself, being intentional about the relationships that you do currently have and showing up as your best self in those. If you are being patient about a skill you are trying to learn it means you are practising as much as you need to be practising for that skill.
Imagine patience as a rope that pulls what you want closer to you.
Each day you practice the piano, you are pulling the rope and your vision of playing in Carnegie Hall (or where is it that they go and play?) one step closer to physical manifestation. Each day you work out and eat healthy, whole foods, you are pulling forth the version of you that is able to maintain a consistently healthy lifestyle. Each time you admit you are wrong when you argue with a friend or come to a compromise when you are fighting with a sibling, you are equally pulling forth a peaceful relationship with your future partner.
The best part of it all is that being patient in the real sense of the word means that you become too busy and occupied with pulling that rope to notice the time fly past. You can either watch the kettle boil for five hours or watch that same kettle boil the water in two minutes while you wash the dishes in the sink. When the water is boiled, you’re done cleaning the kitchen and can truly relax and sit back with your cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate/ whatever floats your boat.
So next time you hear “be patient”. Don’t be tempted to go away and sulk, asking when your day will come. Instead, let it remind you that there is still work for you to do. So it’s best to get to it so that your water takes two minutes instead of five hours to boil!
On that note ... go forth and prepare!
Until next week,