Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Learning Patience

It's seems that I'm always waiting for something or someone. For the past six months, I've been awaiting final approval from a bank about refinancing our mortgage. I'm waiting to hear back from one of my editors about a writing assignment. And, I'm waiting for this semester to be over.

Waiting is an inevitable part of life. We have little or no control over much of what we must wait for. What we can control is how we wait. Do we wait patiently or anxiously? Do we allow ourselves to become stressed while we wait or do we use the waiting time productively?

Waiting patiently may be the ideal, but it isn't easy. When we are anxious in our waiting, we just want it to be over asap. When the resolution of our waiting doesn't happen our our timetable, we can become upset and angry. Yet, getting upset or angry doesn't make time pass more quickly. Giving in to these negative emotions only makes the waiting more difficult.

Patience is something we must learn through practice. Patience comes from accepting that we can't control everything and learning humility. Much of our anger about having to wait comes from an inflated sense of self importance.

Even though I don't enjoy waiting, I am working on how I wait. Since waiting is so much a part of daily life, I have plenty of opportunities to learn patience!

1 comment:

  1. Having patience is an act of grace, I find. It's one part of me telling another part of me to "chill out", to trust, to learn to have faith. It is the one part that's grounded in something timeless, telling the part of me that's counting seconds to see the bigger picture. To feel the anxiety, to feel the restlessness, to feel the rush and emergency, but not necessarily act on it.

    I remember the day this all hit me. I had been waiting for an appointment with a dignitary somewhere in Rwanda, and he had had me waiting for six hours. Seated on an old half-gone seat outside in the shade of trees, I at one point looked up. And saw birds building nests.
    There was no urgency whatsoever in what they did. Those birds just went along with the events unfolding.

    Anyway, I really appreciate your blogs!
    A warm greeting, from Cape Town, South Africa.