LEARNING THE ART OF PATIENCE
Patience, is said to be a virtue. It is certainly something I have had to learn the hard way since using a wheelchair. Through necessity I have had to slow down and accept doing things differently and more slowly. Just breathe!
Since the new millennium our lives have changed more rapidly than ever before. We live a faster life, we have more information available to us, we expect higher standards from others, we experience more pressure to perform and we are influenced by social media more and more. With the onset of technology and the information age we have lost the art of patience and taking time for things to develop.
- We don’t know what it is to wait for HSC results, we get them before Christmas now.
- We don’t have to go far to get answers to any question - just Google it!
- We don’t have to wait to be served in a queue - we pay for things online now.
- We don’t have to plan going for a grocery shop because the shops are open 24/7.
- We don’t have to wait for the snail mail, we just download it now.
- We don’t have to talk to each other to get to know someone, we look up their profile online and click for the information before we even have to make the first contact.
As a result, we have an increased thirst for knowing what is happening next, we no longer have faith in the unknown. We must know now! We travel to unknown destinations with a GPS, no need to research a map anymore, the GPS voice tells us where to go. This expectation of having what we want instantly has bred an element of needing control that in my opinion can actually limit our potential. We have no patience to wait any longer, to show empathy, to slow down and let things unfold naturally.
We are all inundated with statistics, emails, trends and the latest up to the minute information on just about anything we can think of. Life is more and more instant. There is no such thing as delayed gratification. We know much more now than ever before. As a by product of this information age, I think our levels of anxiety and insecurity about the unknown and about ourselves has widened.
My spinal cord injury certainly forced me to slow down and develop patience. Patience in all types of situations:
- Patience for myself and my inability to do things now at the pace that I wanted to, just getting dressed took me an hour when I did it the first time.
- Patience for others and their lack of understanding or knowledge about disability. When people asked my sister how I was even though I was sitting right next to her. Fortunately that was in the early days and it no longer happens.
- Patience to keep believing in the unknown and having faith it will work itself out. That a man would come into my life one day and love me just as I am.
- Patience for the hard times, when I was challenged to my extreme and questioned my existence. Was it worth to keep living?
- Patience for the self-doubt and moments of darkness that I knew one day would pass. Hanging on to the small wins to keep going and keep believing in myself.
- Patience for the good times and being grateful that they arrived, always thankful for what I have.
Patience has been needed all along. Letting go of control is at the core of learning what patience is all about.
The more we try to control our existence the slower our goals are achieved. Just like the driver who tries to overtake other cars, sometimes even dangerously in an effort to get to their destination faster, only to be faced with a red light and not getting ahead at all. I’m all for the tortoise making it to the finish line!
The truth is, the tighter we hold on, the less we evolve along our path of purpose and the less we are happy with our lives. It takes letting go and trusting the unknown that we start hearing our inner voice and gaining control of our lives. By allowing events to flow where they are destined to go, we create the life we are meant to have. Recently I have been Feeling Safe by Letting Go. It took patience to slow down and see the signs, get confident in myself and create a life I am happy to live.
What area of your life needs more patience? Can you let it go and let it flow? Can you trust the process and believe in the unknown? Take the leap of faith and have confidence in your abilities, with patience you will produce the outcome you need.