To say patience is a virtue is an understatement. It’s really more of a skill—one that can be learned and needs constant nurturing.
Patience is the state of being that occurs between experience and reaction. Whether you’re trying to be patient with yourself, others, or life, it seems to always involve the experience of dealing with delays or obstacles.
By cultivating a practice of patience, you’re able to let go of things outside your control and live with less stress, anxiety, and frustration.
It’s not an easy practice, but here are a few perspectives on how to cultivate patience to open up new possibilities.
Practicing Patience with Yourself
When you look at what it means to have patience, you’re ultimately talking about dealing with your own thoughts and emotions. As a spiritual being, there is an unbounded, limitless presence within you that is constantly seeking expression.
As a time-bound, physical being, you have limitations for expressing this inner knowledge—constantly seeking instant gratification and spontaneous movement that doesn’t exist in the physical realm.
You think, act, and experience, and this should be the simplicity of life. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Problems arise when what you think and do doesn’t seem to produce immediate results.
But the most important thing to focus on is the word “seem.” The wisdom handed down through the ages supports the idea that every heartfelt intention and desire is met with support from the Universe, and then, as an individual, you make decisions that affect your experience.
Maybe it’s time to look inward and ask why you don’t have patience with yourself. Ask yourself:
- What does it mean to be patient with myself?
- What benefits would I experience by being patient with myself?
- What can I do to become more patient with myself?
Remember that patience is the ability to not be troubled by life’s changes, delays, or other undesirables. It’s the ability to maintain stillness in the midst of disappointment.
Try to practice self-awareness in those moments where you feel the greatest need for patience.
- Pay attention to what arises in you
- Notice where you feel the stress
- Listen to your thoughts
- Take note of your emotions
A powerful benefit to practicing patience is that you cultivate the peace of mind to guide yourself out of these moments. Even the simple act of looking within at a time when you’re feeling impatient can be healing.
Use awareness to maintain your calm. Tap into your stillness and preserve it. See these moments of self-reflection as opportunities to strengthen yourself in self-control and grace.
Practicing Patience with Others
Cultivating patience with others is an entirely different challenge. Other people are always acting, thinking, and feeling in ways that are potentially disagreeable.
Since everyone has a right to personal freedom, no one has the right to hinder others from their life or personal self-expression—no matter how much you’d like to sometimes. It’s hard to simply live and let live.
The problem with this is that you’re constantly surrounded by other people and the ways you live your life will be different. The gift of living through patience, however, is that you become less reactionary.
When others let you down or irritate you, be patient with them. Gently express love and stillness. Remember that they are growing—just like you—and that life is a process.
Whatever issues you may have with another person are more than likely temporary and will undoubtedly change once you let go of your own agenda. What disturbs you now about this person may change and in the next moment you may laugh with them or feel some other positive emotion.
Regardless of what other people do or think, you have a choice in how you allow it to affect you. Your mind may jump to negative notions and reactions, your body may even register a response, but you are the source of it all. Ultimately you can tap into your stillness, your peace.
Remember this and from this have patience. You are one with the eternal. The things, people, and situations in your life change. Patience is an expression of this awareness and of love.
Practicing Patience with Life
Gaining patience can be transformative to your overall life experience. So much of life is about awareness, growth, and learning—these are the things that are always going on behind the scenes.
When you want things to happen in your life, you can prolong the process by giving your attention and energy to the frustration you feel about waiting. The waiting is not the problem. It’s how you deal with it, how you see it.
Practicing patience shifts your attention away from the stress and frustration. Acting with patience is a way of telling life that you are in charge. You are in no hurry, there is no distress—only peace and confidence in your truth.
This is a regal trait—one of strength and majesty over your life’s circumstances. The Universe will respond to this attitude with support and cooperation.
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