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Day 33: The Practice of Patience

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.” -Unknown

Yesterday, as I struggled with my own discouragement my husband reminded me of the Carlos Castenada books that we used to read aloud. He told me that he had been remembering some advice that Don Juan gave about patience. “He waits patiently, knowing that he is waiting, and knowing what he is waiting for. That is the warrior’s way” It had been years since we talked about Don Juan’s warrior education, and yet here decades later, the teaching about learning to wait was more important than ever.

Patience has long been considered a twin companion to wisdom. It is not a passive trait, on the contrary, exercising real patience in the face of blinding frustration or heated anger is one of the most concentrated forms of strength that we can cultivate. Being able to sit in our own stew and not act out, or retaliate is one of the most intense forms of personal action we can take. It requires that you have the courage to feel the intensity of your emotions and hold onto yourself at the same time. It is no easy trick.

Sometimes patience is the silent sister of faith. Trusting that what you dream of and imagine is out there for you, even if you don’t have any material evidence to back it up. Ben Franklin once said. “He that can have Patience, can have what he will.” Considering the vast ideas that Franklin was able to witness become realities in his lifetime, it seems like advice worth heeding. Trusting in our efforts to bring about the fruits of their labors is a way of making peace with the present moment.

I was not born patient. It has been worn into me over the years of raising my four children and by watching time and again, how my impatience has often been my undoing. This has been true in my business as well. Learning to be patient allows you to accept the moment you are currently having. Like any worthwhile habit, it takes time to develop, but repays you in ways you can’t quite imagine. Or at least that’s what I have been told and get glimpses of when I am in no hurry to have my way.