The definition of patience:
Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties.
Patience is defined as diligence and perseverance without complaint when confronted with delay. So often we hear that “patience is a virtue” and I do believe this to be true. Patience is something that can be useful in many situations. It is not something we are born with, or that we are taught; it is something we practice. In order for patience to be in our lives, we must practice it and honor it.
I am beginning to have a new respect for patience. Patience is quite tricky because you have to persevere without proof that what you’re doing works or is working. It’s tough because you have to work with it only based on faith of some sort.
I find that patience requires complete control over your thoughts and actions. It is being able to change your thoughts into something positive for what is right, and then accomplishing that even during delay. Patience is about control. It’s about control of ourselves, and it’s something that is hard to master. I can’t say that I master it, by any means, but it is something that I hope to continue to improve on.
Through recovery patience comes up a lot. Each time my psychologist mentions the blasted “P-word” my stomach sinks. I think it sinks because of how long it takes to understand patience, and just for the fact that it really does mean an uphill battle without complaint. Who really is able to go through an uphill battle and not complain?? Not many of us! Each time she mentions patience I want to scream at the top of my lungs, lay on my bed and kick my legs like a little brat! I’ll admit it! 🙂
Guess what, everyone??? They’re back! My awesome original drawings are making a come-back! It’s totally fine to be jealous of the level of skill in these…. it happens! 🙂
So, as I was saying…. Each time my psychologist mentions patience I want to scream at the top of my lungs, lay on my bed and kick my legs like a little brat! I’ll admit it! 🙂
Although I am so frustrated with patience – it is truly key in eating disorder recovery. I can’t tell you how many times I ask my psychologist when this process will be over, and how close have I come to the end. I even try to give her a make-shift bar in the air and say, “so, am I here yet?”… It’s the point where she just stares at me and says, “just keep working”…. or something like that.
Really…. this is what I think the conversation might look like between us:
Yep – just like that…. except we both have hair!
But… when the day comes that I have patience without her reminding me…. I will walk out of her office just like this:
So, how does one reach patience, and attempt to master it? I don’t know the answer, but I know a little bit about it and how to continue pushing for patience:
- Patience is about being in control of yourself in a positive way – not a negative way. In order to do that, you have to be in control of your thoughts and how to redirect and/or react to them. Negative thoughts are natural and normal, and that is something that we all have to accept. The challenge comes in changing them. In pushing out the negative thoughts and pulling in something positive. Is that easy? No, not by any means. Does it feel unnatural changing your thoughts? Yes, for a while, but eventually it gets easier. Ultimately, to continue an uphill climb we have to reframe our thinking.
- Patience isn’t about pacifying your life – it is not a passive act. It is about having self-control, and being able to master yourself without projecting on others (when appropriate). Patience is about knowing when to be an activist, and when not. What should we fight for, and for how long? What should we stand strong for, and for how long? I believe those answers are different for all of us. The challenge comes when we have to know and understand what is important to us to continue to fight for. Do we fight with an enemy? For our health? For civil rights? Patience is about pushing when the going gets tough, and doing it for a positive reason.
- Patience is about controlling what you can control, and letting go of what you can’t control. It’s about being aware of what is around you, and what you can control. The control we have in life is so limited, and we can only do so much. Patience can’t be viewed as strictly action because sometimes action is the opposite of patience. Patience is sometimes inaction from what is around you, and only action of your thoughts and self. For me, this is accepting what is happening and what we can’t control, but understanding where we stand in the grand scheme of it all. We might not be able to physically change a situation, but we can choose how we deal with it (i.e.: prayer, acceptance, thoughts). It’s about remembering what matters and what really doesn’t.
- It is no secret that patience is a slow process. The only way it works is when things are able to slow down. Patience takes time. Understanding that it takes time to acquire it is key to even trying to have it. We will eventually get what we want, it just has to come with time.
- Patience is a physical feeling. When we are impatient, we typically feel it. It’s one of those things in the moment that you feel in your core. It’s almost as if you can feel your blood pressure go up, your stomach sink and like there is a ball of something inside you. That feeling can be controlled with slowing things down. Taking deep breaths, grounding yourself, and trying to look at the bigger picture of what is happening.
So, although patience is something that many of us struggle with, and desperately want – know that we aren’t alone! I do believe it will come. It can only come when we are able to let go of fear and continue to journey.
There is one thing that I do know… patience is key to making yourself happy. With patience, we can pause and reflect and not be bothered by the chaos around us. If I had to name it, I think patience is one of the keys to happiness – along with self love and many others. It’s one of those virtues that are worth practicing and fighting for. Just think about how many times you’ve said, “I wish I had patience”…. it’s not that it’s missing – it just isn’t developed… yet.
“The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.”
Something to think about…. do you have patience, or are you developing patience? What role does it play in making you happier?