Patience is becoming an endangered virtue, an endangered art form and discipline.
Whether you are thinking about a new relationship that isn’t moving fast enough, a start-up business that isn’t gaining traction right away, or you are sitting in your seat waiting for your delayed flight to arrive, remember that you are a human being and that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to yell loudly in frustration. It’s okay to cry (yes, even you, macho dudes). But most of all, remember the gift of self-love that you were given. How you treat yourself is how you will treat others, good or bad and everything in between.
The truth is, thousands of worldwide successes started slow, but that early period allowed the people in those processes to focus on the joy of the journey and build on a solid foundation.
The abundance of voices and distractions that ripple around in our minds makes it difficult to distinguish which voices are the right ones to listen to. You probably ask yourself, “Is that my gut? Or my ego? Is that my friend’s opinion? Or my Mom’s? Or my Dad’s? Which voice do I listen to? Which one is right? Which is wrong?”
These are the moments where internal conflict occurs, where those difficult decisions are made, and where patience is becoming an endangered virtue.
As humans, we like to rush things. We push and push and push. Because of how badly we want things in the moment, waiting can be agonizing. And sometimes it is not fun to listen to that voice that’s telling us to slow down.
But often times, it’s the one we need to listen to the most.
Instead of diving headfirst into the ocean, try to think of your situation as if from the shoreline. Feel the temperature of the water, the softness or ruggedness of the sand. Get a good look at your situation from up close—without being fully immersed in it. A lot of times we find answers in these types of observations.
With our attention spans getting shorter and shorter every day thanks to the pace of our world (UGH), practicing patience is a difficult skill that many of us need to learn. But hey, I’ll be real with you—sometimes it really sucks to wait. I hate waiting for things that I really want. I’ve been caught over-stepping my bounds more times than can count. I have too many internal scars to count those mistakes. Sometimes we get pushed into the ocean and it’s fight or flight, as if you’re gambling blindfolded.
Sitting in our own suffering can be extremely painful. This suffering, albeit unwanted, traces back to the fact that we are imperfect human beings in a beautiful, dangerous world. We all err, and we will all fall short at some point for ourselves, someone or something. We lose ourselves to the people and the things of this world time and time and time again.
It is in these moments, we need to close our eyes and get a feel for where our spirit is being directed. Someone or something that created this place gave us the ability to make decisions freely, so let’s pretend that you are holding your soul in your hands. Maybe pick out a color that you think your soul looks like right now. Think about what way it is truly leaning in your life. Try your best to feel the answer in your gut.
With eyes still closed, clench your fists as tightly as you can and outstretch them fully to your sides. Mentally place your options in both hands and take your suffering, your decision-making, your waiting or your impatience and imagine that all of it is compounded into your clenched fists. Now, unclench your fists and let go of it all. Let it drop to the ground, as if all your suffering were to fall out of your hands. Growth begins here.
Featured Image Credit: Alex Glebov