“Patience is a Virtue and I need more of it – NOW!”
Have you heard anyone say that recently?
Did you ever feel frustrated when someone pushed ahead of you in a queue?
How do you feel when someone takes longer than expected to do a simple task at work, or doesn’t complete it in a timely manner despite repeated requests?
What if your kids or partner refuse the food you have laboriously prepared and cooked all afternoon, only to raid the cookie jar later that evening?
Has someone walked all over your newly mopped floor in muddy boots?
Has your final attempt at resolving a bureaucratic problem been quashed by uncaring authorities?
Frustration is an intense emotion we feel:
when our needs aren’t being met at the timewe expect them to be.
when we feel trapped.
when we are not listened to.
when our efforts are not respected or appreciated.
The Instant Gratification Society
How do you react when you waiting for an answer to an urgent email?
Are you someone who responds by sending a follow-up SMS text asking for an update? If they still don’t answer immediately, do you call them directly?
We have come to expect a fast resolution to our needs and experience frustration if that or some other achievable goal is thwarted.
Do you want to know a fact you have forgotten? Google will end our frustrations quickly and efficiently. There’s no need to rack our brains anymore. What does that teach us? That we can quickly solve our own problems?
Society has groomed our vulnerabilities and we now expect a rapid response to our wants and needs.
If we invest more time and effort than we think justified in reaching a goal, the resulting emotion is often frustration and impatience.
Patience is a coping skill we need to navigate a world where gratification is instantly demanded.
How Does Developing Patience Help?
Developing more patience in frustrating situations can improve health and free us from feelings of stress and anger.
However, patience doesn’t mean you will become a people-pleaser or dishonour your personal boundaries, which I posted about last week, but rather it gives you the power of waiting, watching and knowing when and how to act, in order to build compassion between individuals.
Patience helps you to be kind and compassionate.
Patience improves your health and wellbeing
Patience lowers your stress
Patience frees you from feeling angry emotions
Patience enhances self-respect by staying centred no matter what
Patience develops an eye for details
Showing patience offers us extra moments of time in which we can choose how and when to respond to a given event. This may avoid that detrimental knee-jerk emotional reaction. Challenging situations can be dealt with more flexibly.
Practising Patience in Everyday Life
Start out small and practise patience regularly. The following ideas may help:
Practise letting someone go ahead of you in a queue.
Deliberately choose a long supermarket queue. Use that time to practise long slow breaths in your busy day.
Drive the long way home and listen to a podcast or relaxing music.
Actively listen to exactly what is being said/requested by others. Rephrase their request back to them to double-check for understanding. This helps to put your frustrations aside in order to focus on solutions to the problem you are trying to solve.
Let a provocative or controversial comment slide.
Know your weaknesses and avoid letting them become your hot buttons or triggers.
Build your self-discipline by creating new habits and leading a less complicated life. Studies show that people with self-discipline are generally happier people.
Challenge your perception about willpower. Recognize that it is normal to feel frustrated, but believe in your ability to choose to direct your energy in a different way.
Turn your attention inward until your needs are met. This is a good way of practising a form of meditation until you receive the gratification you are searching for.
“Like everything else that brings progress, the greatest struggle is always within ourselves.”
Go through your life practising patience with grace, and avoid pent up anger or frustrations.
Blame and finding fault teaches us to avoid facing up to some truth about ourselves.
It encourages us to search for what is wrong and who we think was responsible because of an underlying often unconscious belief, we carry, that infers if we are always right, we will be happy. If we could control other people and their actions, then that might be possible.
We all know that controlling others is, pretty much, impossible.
When controlling others fails, as it inevitably does, our innate Plan B might be to use guilt, fear, domination or manipulation; even conditional love and criticism to get what we think we want, or feel that we need.
If there is no value in holding on to guilt, why do we do so? Why is it so hard to let things go?
Forgiveness is the key.
Forgive yourself as well as others, for your own sake.
Tolstoy suggested a bad mood might be the reason we blame others. How often do we hear:
“If only they/it would/didn’t/can ………”
Yet blaming others is not likely to lead to feelings of serenity. Instead it may create more negative feelings and paint your own self as a victim, as the following quote alludes.
“Some people love being victims because they love being able to blame someone else. Accountability is too much for them. They don’t like being responsible for who they have become or where they are in life.” Anonymous
Somewhere between the love in your heart and the thoughts in your mind is a happy, peaceful place. To find it, look towards:
Life is a series of natural events and continuous changes. Don’t resist them; doing so only creates unnecessary stress. Let the reality and changes take place. Let them flow.
Acceptance is allowing things to be the way they are, right at this moment. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about improving life; it’s more about realizing that the only thing you really have control over, is yourself.
This simple understanding is the basic foundation of acceptance, and only when we feel some level of acceptance can there be peace and ultimately, growth.
Henry Wadsworth once said, “For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”
Your Own Truth
I never really got what was meant by these words, until I understood that each person has their own individual way of living and experiencing life, and that perspective is the absolute right way for them, at that particular time in their life. You can never really walk in another person’s shoes.
“One of the sources of feeling at peace is simply being comfortable with who you really are.”
Being comfortable with who you are, might still be a struggle with those who find self-acceptance challenging. They might struggle to achieve peace in their life, until they can relax and be themselves.
We have to honour that the choices we make in our life are the absolute right way for us, and in so doing, we have to give others the same acceptance that their choices are absolutely right for them in their journey through life.
Leave judgements of yourself and others behind.
If you find self-acceptance really difficult, recognize the many ways you are already accepting yourself: –
Not trading your reality for a role, or your truth, for an act you perform when you are elsewhere.
Not giving up your freedom of thought.
Not putting on a mask. This is exhausting.
Owning your inner spirit.
All birds cannot be hawks, and that is okay.
Something to ponder in a minute of reflection today.
I became fascinated with traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within just a few, succinct words. I marveled at their ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age.
They offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.
Several years ago, I created ‘Proverbial Friday’ (now Sunday Sayings), on my blog. One of the quotes here was published on my blog some years back and I felt in these times it was well worth reviewing and adding some updated information.
When someone has hurt you, it’s hard to be peaceful. But you do it anyway because you know peace is the only battle worth waging. Peace is beautiful; it is the manifestation of your love, and the best resolution for a brighter future.
Being peaceful is hard sometimes; much harder than being angry and vengeful. It requires you to stay calm and let go of the pain. It requires you to forgive and move on. Of course, you don’t do these things just for the person who has hurt you, but for your own wellbeing. ( Please see note in comments below!)
If you believe you would finally be happy if you had twice the amount of the things you already have – time, money, friends, cars, snazzy dress shoes, etc. – you would be sadly mistaken.
Because if you aren’t happy with what you have, you won’t be any happier when what you have is doubled.
As Socrates once said, “Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.”
Do not waste all your happiness by overlooking everything you have for everything you wish you had.
If you do, you will never have enough.
Instead, appreciate the goodness that is already yours,
and you will instantly find a lot more to smile [ and ponder ] about.