Patience is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious – I mean, it goes without saying that that’s the kind of shit that’s hard to get onboard with.
This week I read Vix’s post about wanting everything now – which you should read asap. I loved it because not only was it brilliantly written, a little funny and super smart, it also made so much sense to me. I’d never considered patience a real aspect of my life, but whether we want to wait or not it’s pretty damn essential for everyone, isn’t it? Vix’s post really inspired me to think about patience in relation to my life (or life in general) and honestly, I’m pretty astounded at the conclusions I eventually drew.
Whilst I’ve not got all the answers (I’m still patiently waiting – lol) what I have observed about patience has completely changed my initial reaction to it. My initial reaction to any situation that requires patience is of course to groan, roll my eyes and ask myself why I’m not at least 5 seconds further in the future already. I’ve never considered it necessary, more of a result of not having what I need/not getting what I want.
Boy, how wrong can one girl be?
Without further ado, please find a few of my musings on embracing the art of patience below. I promise I don’t go all crazy holistic or spiritual – well, maybe a little bit, but it’s all for a good cause because, guess what – patience is actually pretty important.
The things we want aren’t going anywhere
Unless we’re talking about that pair of earrings on ASOS that went out of stock as soon as you decided that you deserved them… generally, the things that we are striving towards and waiting for aren’t going anywhere. The money we want to earn is already in circulation, the house we want to live is built and there is proof of the feelings we want to feel existing, so the rush to grab everything as if it’s going to disappear in a poof of smoke is a pure fallacy.
This definitely isn’t my own realisation – although I did consider being sneaky and claiming it as my own – it’s something I read in Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass. Although the book uses this as a way to explain why we need to become aware of the existence of the things that are (or will be) available to us, I think it serves the conversation of patience too.
A lot of my own impatience stems from the anxiety of things not being there once I’ve waited. Sure, that was kind of true for the earrings, but the overarching desire to wear something that I love is still there, and the patience I’m having to practice before I get there is teaching me that waiting makes the final result that much sweeter.
Maybe finding the right earrings isn’t super important but in cases of building careers, lives and relationships, patience plays another magically necessary role…
Patience prepares us for what’s next
If you got everything you ever wanted tomorrow (not just material things, boo) then what’s the first thing you’d do? After some celebratory drinks, whizzing around in my new car and gazing over the beauty of my studio (which is also an A* business HQ) I’d probably freak the f*ck out. The habits, routine and responsibility necessary for all the things that I want is not something that I have yet.
Of course, I’d give it my best go, but it would be like building a house on no foundations – things would soon crash and burn and therefore it’s kind of not everything I ever wanted…
Patience in these times (as in, right now – not in the dreamy, car crash future) prepares us for what’s next. Without these periods of ebb when would we ever have the opportunity to grow and get comfortable enough to be uncomfortable with our comfort?
Embracing a little patience during these quiet times prepares us for what’s to come and pushes us to want more, eventually. That doesn’t mean that we’re not doing anything now though.
Patience is action
I know the feeling. You’re waiting for the next thing, nothing you’re doing feels like enough anymore and you slowly but surely start to turn on yourself – you’re not doing anything. This chain of events feels way too familiar to me, but something that’s really defined patience for me is seeing patience as an action.
It may not be the most active action there is, but there is something to be said about the act of maintaining and trusting in our already tested methods. It might feel as if we are not doing anything more – but practising patience is an extra action on top of all the daily actions we take towards our dreams already. Patience is a pretty anti-stress action too, which is just another reason why it needs to be recognised as a progressive step.
Accepting where we are and putting real belief in the steps we are taking – even if they’re monotonous and maybe not as effective as we’d dreamed – frees up our lives and our mind. We chose to rest for a while and enjoy other parts of life or we chose to use the extra energy we have for planning our next bout of more strenuous activity.
Patience doesn’t mean we’re not doing. It’s an action in itself and recognising that is one more step to really embracing these waiting periods.