Cultivating patience in an impatient world
To be patient is to allow yourself to stop, whenever life requires so, without getting irritated or angry and taking advantage of that stopping time to notice yourself, others and life, to feel really alive, to learn something new, to enjoy the moment. To be patient means being able to better cope with any kind of unexpected event or with extended periods of painful situations, the very best way possible. Being patient means not allowing yourself to be run over by life but to be able to sustain a regular amount of self-control, restraint and good humor whenever you are obliged to stop, so that you can benefit from whatever arises from stopping.
Have you ever thought about why the seasons exist? Why must we endure the grey and passive energy of Autumn, the still freezing and silent cold of winter, the gentle and happy awakening of spring and the expansive and hot energy of summer? Is it not so immensely amazing to observe Nature's natural and innate wisdom as we notice the underlying motives for this yearly cycle?
Although Human's have, both unconsciously and consciously, challenged nature's natural balance through many incoherent actions and concepts, humans have also been unable to replicate this organic and acutely correct wisdom to this day. Human's kill all the wolf's in the Yellowstone Park and it becomes sick. Humans reintroduce wolf's to the park and it thrives again, amazing! Simply by observing the natural process of nature, like the old indian sages did, really brings about a greater understanding of human nature and it's naturally needed cycles.
The existence of the seasons allows a gentle and organic liberation of previous conditions and the adaptation to new conditions, so that all beings can painlessly go from one to the other. As the temperatures lower more and more during winter, we finally reach a state of comfortable warmness during spring and as the temperatures rise more and more during spring, we reach a state of high heat during summer and as heat decreases we reach a comfy state of coolness during autumn and as autumn progresses we finally reach freezing cold again in winter.
One whole year has passed and during it we got the opportunity to go from extreme to extreme, in a gentle, easy way. During the year we were allowed to go out and celebrate life and we were also motivated to stay indoors and engage with much need introspection. In between these two deeply different states, we had time to accept change and slowly accustom our bodies and minds to a new phase of life.
Unlike the gentle process of change that nature has wisely created, we are now all asked, all the time, to adapt to extreme situations extraordinarily rapidly and no matter what. The demands of modern life have become so insane and unrooted within the reality of being that we all are getting sicker and sicker. As times go faster and daily life becomes just a crazy, insanely full, unkind and disease catalyzer event, we become more and more impatience, aggressive, off-balance and unhappy. Because we live in a era of fastness we end up by wanting everything NOW!, not tomorrow, not next month or next year, but we want it NOW, and we can't wait for it. We get restless in all situations that require a little waiting: on the supermarket, at the bank, at work, with our friends, family and basically, everywhere and with everyone.
As this becomes a rule of (untruthfully) living, children are taught this same impatience and sickness not only through our own behaviour but also through the too many daily activities and demands we impose on them. Children are no longer allowed to be children, they are asked to be mini-adults, with the same obligations and tasks as adults, expected to have the same understanding and self-sacrifice as adults. Children no longer have space within their lives to be children and act as children, to play, to discover the world and themselves, gently, playfully and slowly, as they are supposed to. So children suffer, as we adults suffer too from this collective inability to be patient and live the natural process of life. Life requires time to be lived, accepted, understood and healthily integrated, and nobody can be expected to do this successfully on a blink of an eye.
Patience is undoubtedly one of the most important qualities we should all be cultivating right NOW. With ourselves, with our neighbour, with the waitress, with our difficult life challenges, with our spiritual development, with all things. And even if we desperately want to believe in the possibility of miraculous instant results to anything we “desire”, the truth is that, there are no instant results to anything in life. Successful, long-lasting results take time to be achieved. And that's just perfect!
And why is it perfect? Because, ultimately, the end result is not what really matters. It's not important to get to that last city on your trip itinerary that matters, what matters is the incredible knowledge and wisdom that you collect along the journey, from the very first moment you thought of doing it up to the moment you finish it. As you patiently await for anything to occur, you get to know yourself much better, you get to know others better, you realize the importance of yourself and your actions, you get to understand all the underlying issues of your life, you connect to the wisdom of the universe.
As you await in line at your local supermarket you can take advantage of it by learning something more about your yourself, others, or life. So if you are actively working, for example, in a overweight issue, simply by having the time to look at what you have in your cart and noticing the items you have in it, by reading the product ingredients label and by having time to rationally think about it, maybe you'll decide to ditch a few things that are not that good for you. Or maybe if you are actively working on a attitude issue, just by observing how other people act and observing different people and the kind of energy they transpire will help you realize a thing or two about the consequences of your own attitude.
Being patient, when having to stop, should not be enraging or be felt as a waste of time, stopping is about having the time to breath, to smell, to sense, to think, to feel, to live.
When we are not present for ourselves and others and impatience grows in us, suffering is the only possible end result to anything. But as you patiently cultivate patience, you'll develop a set of some other important life-tools: Inner-tranquility, Serenity, Hope, kindness, Compassion for Self and Others. You'll develop the ability to face whatever comes up in your life with the least suffering possible. And instead of being mad, angry or feeling terrible all the time, through Patience you'll open a window to a new and more fulfilling, connected and happy daily life.