I have never been a patient person. I’m the type that needs instant gratification no matter what the situation is. For example if I purchase paint for a room, I’m painting that same day. I’d like to read the end of the book before the first chapter just because I cannot wait to see how it ends! Let’s look at the definition of patience:
1. The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation or the like.
2. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
3. Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care.
Let’s start breaking it down with #1. My biggest test of being patient during misfortune and pain was during the divorce and I think my attorney will agree that I failed at that. Here I was in an extremely stressful situation and there was no instant gratification in sight! Unfortunately the court system calendar does not book court dates according to how stressed out the parties are. Circumstances beyond my control caused me on many occasions to lose my temper, complain and be irritated.
#2. Why would anyone in their right mind be wiling to accept delay? With today’s technology we have all been trained to do things and have things done quickly. We all want faster computers, we expect fast food to be thrown at us out of the window as we drive by and if we are forced to sit and suppress that gratification we do so with cell phones in hand.
#3. For me this is the definition that makes sense. QUIET, STEADY, EVEN-TEMPERED CARE. What do all of these words have in common? They are all calming, happy, warm words. We all become stressed when we are asked to be patient. Just the phrase “be patient” can send one into a frenzy, it makes us nervous that we don’t know what is coming next.
If we can take a deep breath when we need to exercise patience and remember the key words, quiet, steady, even-tempered care it will help us to think about patience in a different light. I wish I would have had those words two years ago, I may not have been so stressed out. Also, take a look at the first two definitions; the word “annoyance” is used. THAT is what I was focused on during my struggle and when you are annoyed you are stressed. At the time it seemed like nothing was going my way and with every annoyance I was losing my patience.
Luckily for me once the divorce was final I had a support system in place to help me become quiet, steady and even-tempered and in turn I have learned to be patient. Well for the most part anyway.
Most recently I am learning to ride out the events of my life and enjoy each and every moment. I am embracing every new experience with a quiet, steady and even-tempered pace and I am a much happier person. I no longer feel annoyed by not knowing what the end result will be and I am free to sit back and enjoy what is to come. I no longer think of the hour-glass when I’m exercising my patience instead I am in a serene setting.
I don’t want to sound cliché but I highly recommend taking the time to smell the roses and let them bloom in their own time.