Learning The Art of Patience

Patience – the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

When I was young, I used to get this comment a LOT:  “You are so patient!  You are one of the most patient people I know.”  In fact, words like patient, nice, kind and gentle were synonymous with Joy.   If you went by that, you would think I had mastered the art of being patient but look past the surface and you would have seen the complete opposite.

It was the illusion of patience that I exuded.  You see, I got those comments a lot because I did things that people associated with patience but none of the things I ever did came from being patient.

For example, fishing.  People think that you have to be patient to like fishing.  I enjoy fishing.  Simple conclusion therefore, I must be patient.  Well, not really!  I enjoy fishing because I always catch fish!  I’m sure if I sat outside on a boat all day and caught nothing, patience wouldn’t be the word you’d be using to describe me.

There are many examples of when I’ve lost the  plot about things and the one thing very clear is that I have never been and still have not learned truly what it is to be patient.

I am however getting close and I’m learning it through my injuries.  I’ve finally seen the connection between my injuries and my impatience and need for immediate or fast results.

This happens with everything.  We all just want everything NOW and the result of that is over indulgence in so many areas of life – spending beyond your means, overeating, pushing too hard in training, overanalysing things and going out  or working all the time.  All in all, a physically exhausting way to be.

What we want to remember is that there is a time for everything and we need to allow everything to have its time.

A tree doesn’t bear fruit in an instant.  It takes 9  months for a baby to form.  I’m currently trying to grow an avocado from seed as an experiment and that seed sat in water for 4 weeks looking like a wet seed and nothing else before it finally split and I saw some semblance of the beginning of a root.   Apparently this seed is going to take 5 years before it bears its first fruit!

And so just like waiting for this avocado seed to grow, I’ve had to look at my injuries and take a step back with yoga and let my body do what it needs to do.

By doing that, I’ve actually maintained my body weight and flexibility and yoga is much more enjoyable.  No more pushing!!

When there is no expectation and you simply just do what you can, when you can – no judgement occurs, only acceptance and THAT is a beautiful lesson.  ACCEPTANCE.  That’s the key to patience.

Of course, you don’t just accept everything… there’s a time to accept and a time to push and that’s where this prayer comes in handy 🙂

God please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.


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