I've been in a season of patience for several months now. It feels like the life I desire is just out of reach and in other people's hands. There is nothing I can do about it, but wait. So, here I sit in waiting, in patience, impatience. It's a very frustrating existence to sit here while the world keeps turning and people keep moving forward without me. WHY CAN'T IT HAPPEN NOW?!
This sense of urgency I'm experiencing is only exacerbated by the culture we live in. In the age of high-speed internet, high speed transportation, and high speed delivery services, you start to believe that you should get everything you want RIGHT NOW! In this high speed society, there are busy schedules and endless to-do lists. There never seems to be enough time, and you begin to believe things will be better once you do this or get that. I'm not immune to this sense of entitlement that comes from this culture; you should have what you want exactly when you want it. You believe things will be better once I get "there" or attain the object of your desires. When that doesn't happen, the impatience you feel can be frustrating, irritating, and infuriating. These feelings of impatience then impact your mind, body, relationships, and work. You've gotten "there" only to continue being impatient. And the cycle continues.
When you get wrapped up in the wheel of impatience and only focus on getting "there," you miss out on "here." You miss out on the brilliance of this moment--the joys that can be discovered and felt, the opportunities to learn and grow, and the chance to practice stillness and patience. Indeed, impatience is our only chance to practice patience. It is in the stillness of impatience that you can notice it's felt sense without reacting, understand its source, and ask what it is here to teach you--this is patience. There is a universal understanding that things unfold in their own time, and there are many idioms to reflect this truth. Flowers bloom in their own time. You can't rush a bun in the oven. Don't pick an orange before it is ripe. Perhaps by waiting in stillness with your impatience, you are harvesting something even greater than you imagined for when you get "there."
Here are some tools to help you practice patience with your impatience:
Patience is one of the core attitudes of mindfulness. Next time you sit down for a mindfulness practice, set the intention to be patient and notice the felt sense of impatience. You can also practice using my guided patience meditation on my instagram.
Gratitude is another way to notice what you have in the "here" versus focusing on what you might have in the "there." Identify 3 gratitudes daily and be specific! "I'm grateful for the pleasure the moistness and salty flavor of my eggs for breakfast gave me." versus "I'm grateful for my breakfast." Sharing your gratitudes with others only intensifies the joy!
Reflect on the source of your impatience. You might consider some of the many interconnecting factors that have led you to feel this impatience, including cultural or societal impacts, media, comparisons to others in your network, past experiences, and your own innate desires.
Look for the silver-lining. Ask yourself what you might learn or harvest from this period of stillness? The impatience is already here, so you might as well see what it has to teach you versus trying to make it go away.
Focus on something(s) you do have control over. When you can't hurry up and get "there," use this newfound time wisely. Focus on a new hobby or return to an old hobby you haven't had time for. Work on improving your diet and exercise. Reconnect with a friend or loved one you haven't spoken to in awhile. Who knows, maybe by focusing one what you have the power to change now, your fruit will be ready for picking when you do get "there."