We have ever said to someone, “I have no patience for you”? Was it because the other person was not listening to our solutions, suggestions and wisdom? Since we know it better as we are seeing others from the outside (not necessarily more objectively), from a different point of view. And they are not listening, but keep doing the bad things to themselves despite our “best” efforts, they are not getting any better. This is frustrating.
We loose patience with loved ones, friends, acquaintance and others when they are not hearing what we are saying. Is it that we do not want to waste more time with them or they are then become unworthy of our efforts? Is it that our time is so valuable we could spend it with more useful things???
The question is wrong. We should be asking: do we have enough patience for ourselves? Can we deal with ourselves, with our shortcomings, problems and sometimes silliness? If we can answer yes to that question, which sounds simple, but requires effort, we may move on to establish relationship with others. If we have good relationship with ourselves we do not need to compare ourselves to others or judge them, label them in any way. If we are content with “what is” up with us then we are calm and quiet and ready to listen to the other person and hear them fully, not just with our ears and mind but our hearts.
When we realise that our frustration with others comes from the frustration with ourselves and our impatience infects every part of life then we may start listening to ourselves first. We need to take time to see what is our state of mind and heart. See what is the ground we are standing on. Then move on to ask ourselves, “How much time, energy, effort and LOVE am I willing to invest in this relationship with the other person?” That is an honest question. That will cut deep and will cause us to really consider how much we are really interested in the other person.
It is easy to say, “I have no patience for you”, but it is a lie. There is no other way to call it. If we think like this there is no understanding in us. No understanding of where we are and no understanding that the other person is a sentient being living among the same challenging conditions as we are. We are creating relationships, those do not just happen. So take time to slow down right from the start and listen.
What does a word, a gesture, a cry, a tear, a frown can tell you about the internal state of another person, be it human or non-human person? How can we listen well with a tornado of emotional ups and downs raging in ourselves? Can we even hear our own breathing in the noise we are generating???
I for one have to keep pressing the RESET button of my heart and mind. I forget what is important sometimes. I use notes, mental and physical with important messages. I have to make an effort every time I start my day. But when I start it it will get easier. When I have a glass of water I smile, when I bite into a peach I smile and when I think about you and me I smile. If I don’t I cry. And at the end of the day I go to bed with my smiles or tears and get up on the other side of the universe.
So here is your chance to be patient with yourself. So how is your peace holding up? How is your patience being tested and how do you succeed or fail? How do you keep going?