Patience is something that doesn’t come naturally to me. Whether it be road rage, an uncomfortable conversation, technical difficulty, waiting for a service, whatever it is, it’s challenging. Patience is a recipe and its ingredients are listening, letting go and as much relaxation as can be sprinkled.
Imagine these scenarios.
A driver cuts me off. It might feel like a win when I block their glance with my middle finger. In the end though, I feel better when I give an “it’s okay” wave and a smile. I’m not innocent in the act of cutting people off. I have the power to filter my negative input and send only positive vibes out into the world. The ability to refrain from adding more fuel to the fire. Road rage is a very straightforward example of moving on vs. lingering in misery. Immediate relief is continuing my drive and staying in my lane both figuratively and literally. I most likely don’t have to see this person again. The problem could end here. Maybe they’re in a rush, already having an upsetting day, I don’t need to upset this person more. I CERTAINLY don’t need to upset myself over it either. I have the ability to turn up my music, take some deep breaths, and continue my journey stress-free and with pride. I not only took power of my own mood but I gave the driver more time to do the same for themselves. Nipped in the bud, the growth from this situation not escalating anger, but a lesson learned.
My computer is frozen. When has a frozen device ever unfroze through excessive clicking? The answer is patience. Listening to my understanding that electronics are a blessing and a curse. I know they can be frustrating so why allow that frustration to get to me? If I need to reach out for help, that is a proactive step for improvement. I know, in this and every moment, breathing can’t hurt. Maybe even force a giggle. Remind myself that life is tough! Find comfort in my awareness that these moments are inevitable. I can learn to find joy from them with what skills and patience I practice. I always feel better knowing I did what I could to make the best out of a hard situation. The situation doesn’t need to be solved to find something gained.
With those situations out my control, there are more certain guidelines I can follow to maintain my cool. When it comes to tension with another person, the variables that make up my peace of mind have opportunity to be influenced. Giving someone space to take their time is not only what’s fair to them, but what’s fair to me too. I can give the benefit of the doubt. The company is doing everything they can to get my package out on time. It’s the cashier’s first day, she’s just as upset she’s taking an extra 30 minutes of my time. I can open my heart and gain perspective with some sort of relief. What about when someone offends me or tests my tolerance with something they do or say? Maybe my perception was different than what was intended. I recognize when my rebuttal to an opinion or my participation in an argument has no benefit. Sometimes it’s easier to take the loss in the short term to preserve or create peace of mind. I NEVER regret being nice. I want to listen, and when it’s time for me to respond, I want to take a moment to think about what my response is aiming towards. Is the person or thing challenging my patience a bomb that can only be diffused with their own tools? Or, is my perspective going to be helpful? Am I guilty of these actions myself? I want to find a source of connection to help guide my understanding.
Isn’t it hypocritical to ask for patience without practicing it myself? Hypocrisy isn’t just contradictory claims. Hypocrisy defines a lack of empathy. When something bothers me, I want to recognize when I am behaving in the same manner. Getting cut off before I get my thoughts out or misunderstood before I have the chance to explain are some actions that give me a pit in my stomach. However, I’m also guilty of these actions. I like to set an internal alarm that alerts me when I can be more patient, but it’s not always obvious.
I know my number one goal is to encourage happiness. I also know everyone doesn’t find happiness with the same guide book. Patience is a quality that opens the door to authenticity. Makes way for personal growth and gives everyone the chance to live their truth. Room to breathe is room to grow. Patience comes from open ears and an open mind. An opportunity to test my insecurities and lend myself to what and who is in my space. If I get frustrated, why am I frustrated? Did I allow something someone else did or said to personally affect me? For me, feeling misunderstood is a huge trigger. Rightfully so after feeling many years of my youth and teenage life were manipulated from a wrongful assumption. But, listening won’t take away any of my opportunities. If I am confident in myself and the path of bettering I am more than willing to go down, listening is giving opportunity to others while bringing lessons to myself simultaneously. My time to react will come and I want to give myself the chance to really use my time efficiently.