This post actually tested my own patience. At first, I found myself not able to string words together on the page. With my mind blank and fingers unable to strike away at the keys, I started to become frustrated and flustered. Even when my fingers started to find a rhythm, the words never seemed to add up. I started to ask “Why am I even writing about this?”, “Should I pick a different topic?”, but then I realized the frustration itself is a lesson. So, I stuck through it. Day by day, little by little, this piece came together. Patience is what allowed me to finish this topic.
I’ve also learned I need to be patient with my writing, mistakes, and development. I guess in a sense I aimed for perfection. I want my pieces to be well thought, well written. I have to realize it will take a continuous effort to get to where I want to be. Not everything I write will be “great”. It requires patience with oneself to allow freedom for mistakes and room for development.
What is patience?
The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
From the definition, we can gather that in order to be patient we must become masters of our emotion. Naturally, our instinct tells our bodies to react to problematic situations in a certain way. We have to remember in all situations, despite the steam bellowing from our tops, we have a choice. We can choose to react out of the anger, tension. Or we can choose to react out of understanding, compassion, and grace. Mind over body. Remember we may not be able to control circumstance but at the end of the day, we are the ones who decide how we react to any given situation.
When you are just about to loose your patience. The world becomes red. Tension crawls under your skin. You start to act out of frustration and even anger. Movements become quick, jostled, and highly expressive. Wouldn’t you rather be cool calm and in control under times of pressure rather than letting your emotions get the best of you? It’s not a pretty sight when you lose your patience. And when you do lose your cool, most times you only end up with regret, sadness or failure.
Life will always find a way to test our patience. Do you remember your most recent test? How did you do? Were you able to remain calm cool and collected or did you “Lose your cool”? One of the keys to patience is mindfulness. Be mindful of what your triggers are. Aim to understand yourself.
In what moments are you most impatient? Notice how your body reacts to these triggers. Notice the early signs. What do you normally say? For me it’s the phrase “I’m getting frustrated” said out loud. Then it will manifest elsewhere in my body with: Tightened facial expressions, Face red with heat, Hand fidgets, Increased breathing, An inner drum that beats louder and louder with each passing moment. Once you pick up on these signs are you are well on your way. The earlier you catch yourself the easier it is to walk yourself back before its too late. Remind yourself despite your physical reaction you can choose how you respond. You can choose to act out of anger spite or frustration. Or you can choose to let the storm clouds pass as they all eventually do. Patience is a choice.
Patience is something you need to PRACTICE. Even the most patient people in the world have to continually practice patience. Train your patience as if it were a muscle in your body. Although your patience muscle grows stronger with practice, it will only decay the moment you start to neglect your practice. Think of what happens to people who work out for years and suddenly stop. Their muscle starts to loose definition and fats start to build up again. Patience is a life practice.
Times when patience is needed
Patience with yourself.
Learning a new skill? Frustrated with your progress? Not seeing results? Patience allows you to be persistent. After a failure, patience is the force that gets you back up on your feet time and time again. Only a patient person can weather the grueling course of repeated failures. Patience is the foundation for every success.
Patience with others.
Who makes you most impatient? Is it relatives that make your stomach churn? Door to door solicitors? Practice patience to be more understanding and empathic. Please do be patient with children especially, your reaction shapes their understanding of the world. Remember the story of two wolves? Impatience will only lead them towards feeding the wolf of despair, anger, fear.
Patience with your words
Quote by Marisselee from her comment on the post “Words”.
Words can cut deeper than a sword so, before you speak, think. Sometimes, it is better to breathe deeply than to give people a piece of our thought. Once we have spoken, it is difficult to undo the hurt it caused. Walking away never meant cowardice. At times, it only shows maturity and better judgment.
Patience with circumstance.
Remember some things in life are out of our hands. We can only control how we respond. So the next time you find yourself in a horrible situation, think of cookie monster stuck at work patiently waiting for cookies.
How to practice patience
Be aware of the triggers and early signs of impatience in yourself. Take mental notes so you are better prepared to handle yourself each time!
Take a few moments to recollect yourself with controlled breathing. Take a deep breath inhale as much as air as you possibly can. Hold it in for seven to ten seconds. Exhale slowly until your lungs are completely empty. Repeat 2 more times! Feel calmer and in control!
Find something else in your field of view to draw your attention. Stuck in traffic or waiting in line and you find your blood pressure rising? Take the time to notice your surroundings. There will always be something else in the world we can bring our attention to.
If you know something is going to cause you grief. Decide now how you are going to react. I have an acquaintance with a high pitched voice that can talk till your ears start to bleed without even letting you say a word. I know right?! Before my impatience starts to bubble I decide ahead of time I will only entertain for a certain amount of time and then proceed to the nearest available exit in a calm orderly manner.
In this day in age of instant gratification, not only do we want the best, we want it now. Setting realistic expectations buys yourself more time for accomplishments. Let’s say you are trying to learn to draw. You cannot possibly expect your drawings to instantly become amazing in only two or three months. It may even take you years to get to where you want to be. Instead of becoming frustrated with yourself and saying “I don’t have the talent”, look at where you began. Remind yourself of the little signs of progress you’ve made. Patience my friend, anything of value requires time and dedication.
If you end up losing your patience. It might be best to adopt the practice of walking away from the situation altogether. It is better to remove yourself the equation than to stay and make things worse! Come back and address the issue once you are level headed and calm.
Thank you for having the patience to read through this post! I hope you become encouraged to practice patience! Till next time!
P.S. If you’ve come this far you’ve read the word patience a total of 32 times. I know it will sink in your mind! Mwhuahuha!