As with most feelings or complex concepts, patience has many components; most, if not all, of which are contextual. The patience of understanding ignorance or inexperience is different than the patience of waiting for someone to count out exact change at the register when you have already been in line for 10 minutes and they are just now digging through their purse or pocket. The patience of understanding someone’s quirks or forgetfulness because of medication or physical state (like Alzheimer’s) is different than the patience of a teacher watching someone struggle to grasp a concept, but not so very different than the patience of understanding there are things a child just does not yet know.
Today, patience is about trust.
I have been unsettled—impatient. “I want the life of my future and I want it now!” I have not been trusting in that where I am, is where I am supposed to be; that where I am, is this step to getting me there. It is easy to talk about “the journey”, but accepting the steps as they come and actually trusting the process requires attention and practice.
Not accepting this step means resisting this step. I have not been trusting in that the people in my life are helping me. It has been very easy to think others do not have my best interest in mind. If they are not helping me, they are hindering me. And that has turned (in my mind) to thinking and feeling other people are resisting and thereby preventing me from getting what I want (that future). When really all they are doing is just supporting me, in my own resistance.
But I want to trust more than I want to resist. I know that at least. It’s one thing to see the resistance and see how it plays out in my daily activities. It’s another to stay on top of it, to deny it, to intercept it, and not let it affect my work and my relationships.
I am taking two approaches today. The first one I am projecting inward, the second I am projecting outward.
1) Every task today is enormously important. Everything I do, I will do with the care and attention of bathing a child: support (no slipping in the water!), gentleness, care, and kindness. Every task matters; every task—as a step on this journey—is so very, very important that each moment must be approached with the love and attention I want to bring to the outcome.
2) Every person I meet is my ally and my cheerleader. Today, each person I encounter will be acknowledged as contributing to my highest future and will be thanked accordingly.
Staying “in the moment”, or in Eckhart Tolle’s framework, being in the now with each task, each person, requires patience—and trust.