Patience

We often hear that patience is a virtue. Waiting, waiting, waiting. It can feel like torture. I’ve found that the things I’ve waited for in life have driven me insane. To the point where I felt like I could only be happy if I got that one thing… and now. Clearly that’s not logical, but it feels like the only solution. What I’ve learned is this: True patience is when you forget what it is you are waiting for.

True patience is when you forget what it is you are waiting for.

When you let go of the waiting, you allow room for some peace. You throw yourself into other things that matter, and you find that perhaps the thing you were waiting for was not what you wanted after all – there was something better waiting for you around the corner, a deeper lesson to be learned, or perhaps you ended up getting exactly what you wanted… and it was all worth the wait.

All this talk about patience reminds me of a story. What better tale to exemplify patience than the story of the tortoise and the hare? Both animals set out on a race, and the hare in all his conceit assumes it’s a shoo-in. He laughs as he watches the tortoise trudge along, and thinks to himself that he could easily take a little nap and still end up winning. And take a nap he does – yawning and stretching out against an old oak tree. The turtle is not one to be discouraged by such antics. Ever so slowly, but with determination and patience, he traverses the path. As he approaches the end, the hare awakes with a jolt – how on earth did the tortoise manage to get so far?! He runs as fast as he can, but it’s too late. The tortoise has won. Slow and steady wins the race.

Tortoise_Hare.jpg
The tortoise and the hare: an age-old tale about patience and perseverance

Are there times in your life when your patience was tested? How did your patience (or lack thereof) affect the outcome?

Speaking of patience, it’s almost 7 PM and I’m heading out to a chic restaurant called Makita in downtown Ottawa. I’ve patiently been waiting to eat all evening!

Will write more on other other emotions – gratitude, compassion, fear, anger – another day. :-)