I hate waiting. I always have. It can be such an agonizing experience due to the insane amount of pressure that I put upon myself during the times of doing so. And unfortunately for me, waiting is a guaranteed part of life. We wait for the light to turn green, for our pie to bake to golden perfection, even for our bodies to fully wake up after a restful night of sleep. Waiting is necessary in both simple forms and complex ones each day. What is not required of us is to root our time of waiting in a steady stream of patience. Although I know this practice of steadiness to be best, it is such a great struggle for me to maintain it. If patience was a natural occurrence in us mere mortals, we would surely be saved a lot of heartache and frustration. Because it isn’t an innate skill in me, I often end up going through a lot of frustration with the circumstances around me and, even more so, with myself when I fail to let patience guide me.
One of the biggest challenges for me is finding the joy amidst ample times of waiting. Often times I have passions and goals that are urgently screaming to be released and it is almost painful to have to hold them back, even when deep in my heart I know that I need more time to strengthen and improve myself so that my desires can become pure realities. Instead of existing in a cycle of unrelinquishing distress when things don’t go as I planned, I have really been working to be grateful for the good in my circumstances and gracefully await my breakthroughs in the troubled areas. Believe me when I say that I have seriously been striving to figure out how to hold on tight through every experience. In order to do this, I have had to put in a lot of effort and I know it will always be worth it. I don’t want to waste my time away being miserable so I have made the decision to fight against misery. Though this is hard for me to accept at times, the truth is that there will always be something significant to wait for in life and the things that are worth waiting for will reap great rewards from my patience.
Despite my stubbornness, tears, impatience, and fears, I have come to really grasp what it means to be patient. In my experience, true patience consists of giving up the expectation that something you long for will happen in your set time frame. Logically, I’ve always understood that in order to embrace this skill, I would have to stop watching the clock and tapping my toes expecting my desires to come to existence 20 seconds ago; but again, my screaming desires overwhelmed all logic. But then what has this always led to for me? Yes, tears; lots of them. I’ve also found that what it really has been creating is a hardened heart and a lack of faith. Because I want out of this cycle of frustration, I’ve had to take a look at my thoughts and intentions. Am I waiting for the right reasons? Am I ready for the answers that await me? Am I truly allowing time to run it’s course and prepare me for what is soon to come?
I’ve also welcomed the realization that stable patience comes in waves of gentleness. As I wait for myself to change and grow, I must approach my daily self-evaluations with a soft hand. As I have been making the effort to strengthen specific areas of myself, such as my impatient heart, I’ve realized that I have the tendency to look very sharply at my flawed actions and overlook the progress I have made even in the last few months. As I tune my focus into my growth and I am gentle with myself, I find that I am able to move on to the next level of self development.
Even as I write you now, I am struggling with patience. I can promise you that tomorrow and probably the next day I will feel the burden of impatience creeping in. What I am coming to fully grasp is that, like many things in life, it is a process. This is precisely where a gentleness to myself and those around me comes in. Each day I may be challenged to wait, but fortunately for me, each day I am conquering more and more fears. And as I muscle through, I am moving closer towards my goals and, more importantly, towards a stronger version of myself.
P.S. Maybe waiting isn’t so bad after all. Most days I am able to see that the little, intricate pieces are falling together a bit more. And when my days are dark, the ones that follow shine even brighter. The good will come around eventually and it most always washes away the mistakes and the pain, leaving beautiful and bittersweet memories in the distance.