The Development Of Patience
Posted on August 20, 2015
Winter is coming.
I feel myself settling more and more. I’ve always known that as the Summer fades and Fall & Winter arrive, something in me becomes much more grounded. I love the snow. I love the freezing cold air. I love the sound of my board as I carve down the mountain. In the winter, I’m wild and free. When everything seems to be dying I come alive.
The patience to see something unfold naturally and not force it all while remaining cool, calm, and collected.
Patience is not something I had in my life for a long time until I stopped grasping at everything that I wanted for myself. I realized that some things take time, especially development, and that you have to give yourself the space to be able to deepen into yourself without trying to force things.
To put it another way, you can’t yank on a flower to make it grow faster.
Infinite patience has a few very interesting results when you actually apply it to your life. If you can be patient enough, things will happen as they should vs. how you think they should happen. Often, what we want in our lives isn’t actually what is really good for us. Think about all of the times we got something we thought we wanted and it backfired like a ceremonial cannon. Forcing things always has the opposite effect of what we truly wish for ourselves deep down inside. However, if you can get to a place where you can honestly say “it will happen in it’s own time” you will constantly be surprised by what actually begins to take place.
Patience is a sign of respect for the present moment. Why? Because when you are patient you actually take yourself out of living in the future. When we are being impatient, we usually want something to happen that is farther down the line to happen right now. We think it’s going to be this great thing and that will save us from whatever is going on now. You’ve probably heard me say it before, but that is a “row-boat-mentality” type of thinking. You are constantly rowing to this island of where it all turns out (the future) and never get there because it’s a dream land. It doesn’t exist. It’s one freaking sexy mirage though.
Being in the present and letting whatever needs to unfold…unfold…deeply connects you to what is here right here and now and gives you access to things like patience and acceptance. The second you start rowing though all of that goes out the door and you’re back in a place of impatience, aggravation, frustration, etc.
What’s the greatest culprit of causing our impatience? The mind. The mind will run it’s thoughts and emotions uncontrollably causing you to drag yourself out of whatever you are appreciating now and replace it for a different place, one that you will never actually get to. So, in a sense, happiness and the cultivation of happiness comes alongside with the cultivation of being present and in this moment. Of course there are a lot of other factors that play into happiness, but I would have to say that this is certainly one of them.
How can you bring patience into your life?
I have a few ways in mind.
- Clean up your past: if your past is messy as all hell and you can’t focus on anything but everything that has happened to you or with you in your life, how in the world are you going to appreciate the moments in front of you? You really can’t. Maybe you will have a rare moment or two but that’s about it. You have to be willing to clean up the situations that are hindering you and still effecting you to this day.
- Set purpose driven goals: This is an interesting one because goal setting can put you in a constant state of row-boat-mentality…but that’s why I wrote “purpose driven goals.” If you know what your purpose is in life, what you’re set out to do in the world, then your goals become a deep reflection of that. In fact, they really just become “expressions of purpose” and milestones down the line. Goals imply a linear A to B process. Development though, is not linear…it’s a deepening process – sometimes without any specific direction. Keep that in mind.
- Meditate: simply focus on your breath and keep coming back to it if your mind naturally starts to wander etc. Thoughts and emotions pour uncontrollably, your only job is to keep coming back to the present moment with your breath. Do this…it works.
Be willing to watch things unfold naturally. Give them the space and time to grow. It’s much more fun with you watch it grow the way it is supposed to instead of constricting it to the way you would like it to be. When you give up knowing how something is going to go, you leave yourself open to having your socks blown off by possibility.
I would rather live in that type of world.
The Better Man Project