“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” – William S. Burroughs
Patience can be a struggle.
I know this firsthand. My experience with impatience used to be confined to overusing the microwave or skipping to the end of a long novel.
Back then, when waiting at a traffic light for more than two minutes seemed like an eternity, I didn’t know that life would teach me several advanced lessons in patience. Frustration is not the key to any door. Patience is a lifelong spiritual practice as well as a way to find emotional freedom.
Patience doesn’t mean passivity or resignation, but power. It’s an emotionally freeing practice of waiting, watching, and knowing when to act. I want to give patience a 21st-century makeover so you’ll appreciate its worth.
Patience has gotten a bad rap for the wrong reasons. To many people, when you say, “Have patience,” it feels unreasonable and inhibiting, like an unfair stalling of aspirations or some Victorian hang-up or hangover. Is this what you’re thinking?
Well, reconsider. I’m presenting patience as a form of compassion, a re-attuning to intuition, a way to emotionally redeem your center in a world filled with frustration.
To frustrate means to obstruct or make ineffectual. Frustration is a feeling of agitation and intolerance triggered when your needs aren’t met; it’s tied to an inability to delay gratification. At our own risk, we’ve become too used to immediate results. Emails zip across the globe in seconds. Parents text messages to their kids to come in for dinner instead of yelling from a front porch. You can get the temperature in Harare or the Malibu Beach surf report with a click of a button.
Despite the digital age’s marvels, it has propagated an emotional zeitgeist with a low tolerance for frustration—not just when you accidentally delete a computer file, but in terms of how you approach relationships and yourself. Without patience, you turn into your own worst taskmaster. You treat spouses and friends as disposable instead of devoting the necessary time to nurture love.Intuition intelligently informs patience. It’ll convey when to have it and if something is worth working on or waiting for. Tweet Me
But with patience, you’re able to step back and regroup instead of aggressively reacting or hastily giving up on someone who’s frustrating you. You’re able to invest meaningful time in a relationship without giving up or giving in. In fact, patience gives you the liberating breath you’ve always longed to take.
Frustration prevents emotional freedom. Expressing frustrations in an effort to resolve them is healthy, but it must be done from a non-irritable, non-hostile place. If not, you’ll put others on the defensive. Wallowing in frustration leads to endless dissatisfaction, placing us at odds with life. This emotion makes us tense, kills our sense of humor. It also leads to procrastination; we put things off to avoid the annoyances involved. Conquering frustration will revive your emotional life by making it your choice how you handle daily hassles and stresses.
I’m defining patience as an active state, a choice to hold tight until intuition says, “Make your move.” It means waiting your turn, knowing your turn will come. Once you’ve gone all out toward a goal, it entails trusting the flow, knowing when to let the soup boil.
With patience, you’re able to delay gratification, but doing so will make sense and feel right. Why? Intuition intelligently informs patience. It’ll convey when to have it and if something is worth working on or waiting for. I’m also struck by the fact that every world religion sees patience as a way to know God. That gives me an incentive to practice it, and perhaps it does for you too. While frustration focuses on externals, patience is a drawing inward towards a greater wisdom.
Lastly, patience doesn’t make you a doormat or unable to set boundaries with people. Rather, it lets you intuit the situation to get a larger, more loving view to determine right action. Patience, a gift when given or received, moves within reach when you can read someone’s deeper motives. Most countries are yearning to get life back on track with this pandemic, yet this is the time to be patient.
Practicing patience will help you dissipate stress and give you a choice about how you respond to disappointment and frustration. When you can stay calm, centered, and not act rashly out of frustration, all areas of your life will improve.
As always, hope you and yours are safe. Practice patience, a better day is coming.