WHY is Patience a Virtue?
When you are being patient you are in the "now" and KNOW that being impatient will get you nowhere. When you are patient you are relaxed and are expressing the understanding that everything is fine and if you need to wait a few minutes (or years in some cases) -- there is a reason for it and it is okay. Patience is a virtue because with the world in high speed technology-wise you are CHOOSING to take a second and breathe. You are accepting the now and are appreciating the rewards you get for not being impatient. Patience is its own reward for it means you are tolerant, calm and will benefit from the situation at hand rather than get annoyed by it. Patience is a reward because by being patient you are letting go of judgment that something "needs to happen now". You are sending out signals to the world that "all is okay" and are trusting the Universe which only brings goodness to you.
Self-Talk & Patience
-- Mahatma Gandhi
In my article Self Talk I talk about when you are stuck in traffic or a line how your self talk plays a key role in how you react. Being patient takes the presence on mind to stop and KNOW there is always a good place (a positive space) for your mind to go. Glaring at the checkout person will not move the line faster or make them any less stressed than they already are. Rolling your eyes at the person in back of you does nothing to help their mood. Telling yourself repeatedly you are going to be late if things don't speed up -- does not do anything to relax you or the people around you.
If you change the way you deal with things that pop up that require patience it will become a habit to use these techniques. When you are in a situation that requires short term patience whether it be the grocery store or being "held up"somehow.... try and change the way you are looking at the situation and your focus. Ask yourself how to deal best with the situation.... Have you been looking for time to think about your schedule, a gift idea or to figure something else in your life out? There is always something to think about that is more pleasant than brooding about time lost. Do the people around you look like they can use some positive talk to lighten their mood? You can use the time to connect with another person. Have you taken 2 minutes yet in your day to run through a "gratitude" list in your head? Feeling grateful for what IS right and good in your life is a sure way to shift any mood. I assure you that when you stop putting your attention on every second passing or how long things are taking -- time will move a lot faster.
If something "breaks" down or causes something to take more time -- it is up to you to use that time positively. It may be the Universe's way of telling you to SLOW Down! I would get so frustrated when my computer would freeze and now try to look at it as -- "it was time for a break anyway --I'll use the 10 minutes away to drink some water and refocus and when I reboot my computer it will run even better". Be grateful for having to stop and do a mental check in to see how you are feeling and then decide what is next.
What are the opposite traits of patience? Worry, impatience, intolerance, anger, anxiousness and sometimes even depression. While it is important to Appreciate Every Moment NOT JUST the Good Ones -- these are all emotions that are best not to dwell on for too long. If you begin to feel these emotions because of a situation that requires some patience -- there are ways to change your habits and your immediate reaction (especially in recurring situations).
Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth" talk repeatedly of the importance of being in the present and The Tolle/Oprah free webinar provides helpful tips on moving in this direction. Take notice of the emotions that spring up when you are these situations and think of the reaction you want to replace it with instead. Putting that intention out there and KNOWING you want to change it is the first step. This is one area I HAVE been able to dramatically improve in my life and it did not take long or much to do it. It does require being conscious in that moment but there is lots to gain from this and makes for a much calmer living space.
-- Eknath Easwaran
Everything is as it Should Be
If you want some ideas for strengthening your patience, you might read my post "5 Steps for Letting Go and Moving Forward". In the article, I highlight ways to be patient, trust and not live in the future but in the now. Maybe you have not "found THE ONE" yet because you need to get yourself in the right space first. Maybe you didn't hear if you got the job you wanted because there is an even better opportunity coming. The more we resist and put pressure on ourselves the more unhappy we will be. The more we learn to relax, trust and have patience the better it is for us and everyone around us.
Patience with Children
Children mirror what they experience. Anyone who is around children frequently knows there are times when patience is something you PRAY for! Yes, I have sat through 4 hour car rides with "are we there yet?" every 30 seconds. (The friend with us who was not used to kids did wind up with an emergency call to her psychiatrist after that -- but that's a whole OTHER story).... I have looked both kids in the eyes when something broke and had them repeatedly say "I didn't do it". I have repeated "Take your vitamin" 20 times and still had it sit there all day (hence the chore charts idea by Ray -- my husband -- GREAT ONE HON!). I have listened to Kidz Bop (Top 40 songs sung badly by kids) over and over and over again.... I can ask for no better lessons in patience than the ones my children offer me. ;-) Remember that with children the way you treat them is how they are learning to treat others. The more patience you show them -- the more they will pass onto others.
Patience with Self
Notice I saved my weakest link for last? ;-) Patience with self includes self love, self esteem and just cutting yourself some slack. I have said as a recovering perfectionist I am facing my toughest challenge yet. I continue to challenge myself and set new goals which is wonderful for my self esteem. I have faced some long time fears and overcome them which helps my self confidence. However I am still my toughest critic and know someday I will grant myself the kindness and support that I try and grant everyone else!
Patience with Self means accepting you will "make mistakes". You just have to trust that you will learn from each experience. Patience with yourself means loving and trusting in yourself unconditionally especially in the most "trying" times. Patience with self is love and tolerance of yourself and all others.
-- Wayne Dyer
-- A Turkish Proverb
"If you are patient in one moment of anger,
you will escape a hundred days of sorrow"
-- A Chinese Proverb
In what ways do you show patience? What are some of the skills you use to demonstrate patience?