I sit daily with my own impatience working to transform it into patience. I sometimes wonder why it seems so important for me to be patient. What is patience directing me to and toward? Is it asking me to focus attention on something within that I’m hiding from? Could it be a directive to live more fully in a receptive mode, to more fully trust myself and the Divine? What’s the feeling of letting impatience go to let more patience come? What feels more grounded, rooted?
What I’m discovering is that waiting allows us to see ourselves. It helps us outlast our many preconceptions, see through and overcome them. As we make the effort to slow down; stop, look and listen deeply, we can look inside the impatience. We can awaken to the fears of not being enough, of distrusting our own brilliance, of the criticism of others, of old unhealed wounds. Impatience is seen as a buffer, a filter, a diversion.Patience is seen as a friend and ally.
Mark Nepo wrote: “One of the most difficult things for us to accept is that beneath all our dreams and disappointments we live and breathe in abundance. It’s hard when in pain to believe that all we ever need is before us, around us, within us, and yet it’s true.” When in patience we relax our resistance to the unexpected to make room for what’s larger than ourselves. We embrace our enoughness, our uniqueness, our genius. We live in abundance and move more joyfully.
It may be that the two most difficult roads on the spiritual journey are the patience to wait for the right moment to act and the courage not to be disappointed with what you encounter. It’s an ongoing process of discernment and discovery. It’s a perennial process of overcoming fears and insecurities. How much resistance do you have to the unexpected? How open are you to surprise? How much do your trust your inner Being? What does it mean for you to be patient?
Years ago when I was ranching I bought quite a few untrained horses. The easiest one I ever trained was a yearling hand raised from birth by a teen-age girl. I spent years with that yearling just walking with her, putting tack on and off and grooming her. When she was old enough to ride she was as calm and gentle as ever and knew all the leads I asked for. It was a labor of love and a slow process. Not being in a hurry re-enforced our innate gentleness.
The most difficult horse I ever trained was an eight year old gelding that had been raised on a large ranch. The only contact he had with people was controlling, rough and rowdy. He was ‘green broke’ which means he wasn’t really ridable. It took two years of playing the ‘friendly game’ with him before he was able to trust me. He taught me more about myself than all my psychological training. Patience won us over and he became a great riding horse and friend.
- Sit quietly and allow a situation to arise that required you to be more patient than you wanted to be. What were the feelings, the thoughts, the hidden fears and surprises that arose?
- What did you learn about yourself in this experience? How accepting were you of Patience?
- Breathe slowly and picture yourself living more fully with Patience, making her your friend.