“I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.” ~Margaret Thatcher
Do you want more patience? You may find it desirable. You may feel like you need it. After all, the experience of impatience may span from annoying to unbearable. The problem is, patience is a force and forces are always limited and opposed. The best you can hope for as a result of patience is tolerance and forbearance.
Aren’t tolerance and forbearance good, even admirable? Only relative to their antonyms. The limits of patience are often tested and even surpassed. Even when not, a successful state of patience can be draining and difficult to sustain.
Rather than addressing a lack of patience with the injection of yet more of it, consider the environment that is making lack of patience an issue. Why would anyone ever need to be patient? The environment requires two things: 1) you want something; and 2) there is a delay in fulfilling that want.
A favorite solution of the impatient is to attack #2. What can I do to get what I want sooner or even now? Frustration and suffering arises when the answer is, “Nothing” or “Not enough”. Even arriving at a way to get your desire sooner still leaves you in an environment where patience is required.
But what if you were to address #1? If you were to cease wanting, not only would you not need more patience, you wouldn’t need any at all. There are many times when, if only you would consider this option, you would realize that you can easily release your want. Even if you cannot fully release it, you may find that you can effortlessly limit your want, thereby limiting your need for patience.
“Who has the patience to be patient all the time?” click to tweet
Patience is useful, much like forgiveness is useful. But it addresses a symptom when the root cause is readily available for direct address. When you turn your attention to your desire, the power to choose surpasses the limits of patience.
Where have you been able to make patience irrelevant? Share your experience below by commenting.
Photo Credit: Harpo42