A friend once told me, “Patience is for other people.” I’m pretty sure she was (mostly) joking, but it got me thinking . . .
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. – Aristotle
It’s easy to be patient when we’re not in a hurry. Being able to wait peacefully, though, when the pressure is on? That’s another thing altogether.
Long lines at the grocery store, traffic jams, slow service at a restaurant, dawdling children. In today’s world, with so much going on, so many places to go, things to do, it’s easy to become impatient.
This article from Mindful.Org asks, “Does your indignation toward another person feel good?” No. No, it doesn’t.
Our impatience doesn’t make us feel better – and it doesn’t improve the situation at all. Think about it – the last time you were in line behind someone taking an hour to unload their cart at the grocery store, were you helped at all by your frustration? Did that line move any faster?
What happens if we reframe the situation, though? We might feel compassion for the person who is slower to move and we might even offer to help him with his load. We might feel grateful that we are able-bodied and that we have food to eat.
Compassion and gratefulness feel so much better than indignation.
When we’re feeling impatient, we are not living in the present moment. We are looking forward to being done, moving on, getting another item crossed off our list – so we can move on to the next item.
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Stop. Take a deep breath. Notice everything going on around you. Practice compassion and gratefulness, and you’ll soon be a more patient and peaceful person.
Patience is not simply the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.