It’s been said that patience is a virtue. It’s listed in the Bible as a fruit of the spirit. But who really likes being patient??
We tend to think of patience as doing nothing.
When a problem arises, the problem-solving part of our brains can snap into high gear, urgently working to fix the issue as soon as possible. It takes a large amount of self-control to slow down or opt out.
Patience can feel like just sitting around and waiting. And that can feel profoundly disempowering, like we’re backed into a corner and the only choice is to twiddle our thumbs and wait for something to change. But I want to reframe patience as a form of action.
Choosing to be patient is choosing to be actively present with what is, rather than what we wish would be.
It can seem like the only empowered option is to force the issue or to aggressively push forward. Others of us tend to turn away from an unsolveable problem to avoid the discomfort that might arise with it. Neither choice is effective.
But sometimes patiently waiting can be just as powerful and include just as much agency. Sometimes waiting can allow emotions to settle, creativity to strike, and hidden answers to be revealed.
When we force or avoid, we’re running from discomfort.
When we choose patience, we choose reality.
When we choose reality, we suffer less.
And that’s the point.