I write this at a time that I feel my patience tested more and more each day, at a time I have a lot to hope for but not as much to tangibly cling to. Each day I wake up and convince myself, we just have to wait a little bit longer and it will all work out, and there and then I have the confidence to start the day, believing that my patience will suffice. It won’t be long before the thoughts start to creep back in and the day’s situations deal me blows to my face, then I have to remind myself again and again, just a little bit longer.
What does patience mean to you? Take a minute or 2 and actually think about it. Some time ago, I read a quote that said “Patience is not only waiting for a final outcome but what you do while you wait.” This really stuck with because before I read this, I wasn’t keen at all on how I waited, didn’t watch my state of mind while I waited. To be honest I was probably driving myself crazy waiting each day for whatever it is I was waiting for to pan out. Then one day, a thought came to mind, it went a little like this: If I was told to I jump off the Eiffel tower, with a promise that I would be caught before I touched down. At some point x that isn’t told to me before I jumped, would I jump? For me the answer was a confident yes. Then I went on to think, what would I be doing as I fell? Would I be thinking each moment, “maybe now is when He will catch me” and if it didn’t happen at that moment, pick up the same thought the next moment? That would really be depressing I thought. So I decided that I’d just enjoy the fall, maybe learn to fly in the process, say hi to a few birds, enjoy the view .. anything but obsess about the end result! This might not be so relatable for all of you or all circumstances but I hope you get the drift.
Patience by definition is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. The mental fortitude or strength to keep going, waiting calmly in the face of frustration or adversity. Situations that require patience vary in intensity and urgency. At times it’s slow internet, my personal worst, or maybe waiting in line for a service or the traffic jam. Situations you can’t control yet strip off your sanity little by little. Some times it’s something more intense like waiting for a loved one to get better or for your career to build into something you have always wanted, sometimes it’s the pace at which your dreams are coming true. In all this cases, you just have to wait till the time elapses and you reach your destination.
Learning patience has a wide variety of benefits to us starting with enjoying better mental wellness where it helps you deal with anxiety issues easing your mind of this mental stress. With better mental health, there is always better physical health. Patience creates a better environment for you to achieve your goals and helps you make rational decisions though your journey. In this journey of life I have also found patience to make better stories in the long run, at the time it may seem like suffering and pain, but eventually, when you look back, you get to see the stars aligning and it’s just beautiful. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? It also helps us appreciate what we already have and if you tune your focus just right, you are able to see it’s all coming together. Patience also makes you easier to interact with for your friends and family as well as anyone who you network with in any situation, no one likes a big ball of anxiety coz we all have our own anxieties that we’d rather not focus on too much.
Impatience normally feels like wanting everything to happen right now, but if you took your time and asked yourself “then what?” you would probably find out there’s not much that happens after that. This may not apply for the pettier examples like slow internet, but for more long term things like our dreams and careers, if you have it all now, then what? Think of these journeys like climbing a tall mountain, if you take your time going up the mountain you get to discover beautiful scenes along the paths, maybe a rare plant that only exists at a certain height, a good hiding spot incase of an animal attack.. you just get to learn a lot about the terrain. Feel the atmosphere change with every zone and the body gets to adjust itself with every stage. Imagine the victory you feel when you finally get to the top!! Oh the joy in your heart the stories you can tell of your voyage. Would be nothing compared to taking a lift to the top, would it?
Greatness takes time and little things can grow into marvelous things if only you patiently continue working towards a certain goal. Each day we have the choice to settle for a short term reward or continue working harder for a long term, more valuable reward. Sometimes seeing all the way ahead, to that future greater reward may not be easy but we need to “turn our full lights on.” A friend and I came up with this analogy where we are all drivers on the highway, some of us have no lights on at all, some only have their fog lights on, others are working with the dim lights and then there is those of us that have our full lights on. I hope you have your full lights on so you can see as far as is possible for you and not settle for the smaller reward, rather, make some sacrifices that will earn you the more valuable long term reward. Because when you focus on the right things, you will see it all coming together and will realize there is a lot of beauty in the waiting too. It is sad that sometimes we loose our patience because we focus on other people’s journeys and wonder why ours is not like theirs. Comparison has killed so many great things, don’t let it kill yours too.
Relax and take a deep breath, even though it doesn’t seem to be working right now, just breath and continue to give it your all. Build your foundation to be as strong as it needs to be, now add onto that and continue to pick up lessons and memories that are the beauty of your journey. The rest, with time, will all fall into place. Letting things happen slowly even gives you time to figure out if that’s the direction you really want to go in. It gives you a chance to know much more and create your own perfect experience. Train your mind to be patient with small things and it will spill over to the larger things too. Be mindful about what makes you impatient and work on it. It could mean setting better boundaries or maybe getting rid of these things all together, all in all, put yourself first and choose what works for you. Then keep doing that everyday. This is a continuous process and you will definitely not have it all figured out at a go because even the challenges evolve, so evolve with them. And when the push comes to shove, ask yourself, what will I loose for choosing not to wait, and is it worth it?
I hope you enjoyed this read and it encouraged you to be a little more patient with whatever comes to mind when you think of patience. I am learning each day to be a little more patient, but to be honest, some days are better than others. All I do is try to stay encouraged and hope that eventually it will make sense. You know you can never connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them when you look back, so we have to trust that they are all adding up to create a beautiful picture!! Don’t forget to like, leave a comment and share this if it brought some joy & hope into your heart.
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