Patience is a verb.

This blog is about patience.

Of which I have little.

I remember being in second grade and my stepfather, patiently, trying to walk me through my math homework.  I threw a temper tantrum at the agonizing slowness of the process and demanded he just give me the answers.  Of course he didn’t but instead, patiently, explained that the point wasn’t to get through the exercises, but to incorporate the concepts into my own understanding.  Doing it that way, I would even get a lot out of it.

This lesson still comes to visit me.  Often.

And life is not as kind and patient as my stepfather was, but tends to give you the lessons just the way you need to learn them.

I share with you my transition between New York and Texas a lot, and it is because it indeed was huge and I am still learning from it every day.

I have had to be patient, building a new community, my professional practice, and still keep nurturing my New York friendships and those with family and friends in the rest of the world (both Ziad’s and my family still live in our respective mother countries Jordan and Sweden).  Our families have had to be patient with us roaming around in the world away from them, and still stay connected no matter what, continuously syncing back up year after year.

I have then realized that patience then is a verb.  It is a not a passive waiting-for-Godot, for a day we hope might come.  It is the hard, slow, long, arduous, exhilarating, aggravating journey over time till you get where you are going.  So maybe instead of hunting so hard for the answers to how we can get there faster, maybe we should wonder why we would want to.  Isn’t patience a virtue that we would all want to possess?  And doesn’t it take time to learn a virtue?

That is what I will leave you with today.

Comments are, as always, warmly welcome.



6 Replies to “Patience is a verb.”

  1. My favorite saying is “Life is not measured by the nuber of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
    Patience is who I am. I have patience with others, children, my wife, my 89 year old mother, my sister, my clients, my prospects. I have the virtue of patience.
    It serves me in one sense but does not light me up.
    What lights me up is truth spoken, being present in the moment, having breakthroughs.
    Overcoming a fear or something stopping me.
    Only patience and commitment has kept me married for 27 years.
    Patience is peaceful but tiring.

  2. I just read this on about patience: “via Old French from Latin patientia endurance, from patī to suffer.” The idea of suffering does not have a positive connotation, but put in another context, it is inspiring, even noble. Nelson Mandela, in a South African prison for 18 years for battling against apartheid, was forced to learn patience, and look what results it created in his country. All the greats (Mandela, Gandhi, King, Mother Theresa, etc.) were masters of patience. All of them, wise, noble human beings. “We shall overcome,” was a call for patience and persevearance, not for speed. Mother Theresa wasn’t yelling, “I must fix Calcutta’s poverty issues tomorrow!” Rather, she was an emblem of the nobility in her patience, making lasting changes in that part of the world through her commitment over time.

    Last year, my dear friend Maxx had to learn patience and acceptance all over again at 70 years of age when he was told he had Stage 2 throat cancer. He is alive, thriving and cancer free today, I say, because of his mastery of acceptance and patience within the process of healing from that disease. Maxx stilled himself in meditation with his cancer and said to it, “ok, I am here and I am listening. What is it you want me to hear? What is it you need me to see?” It wasn’t an easy journey but out of his patience he blossomed and healed and today is grateful for the cancer coming into his life. Recently, he sent me a picture of himself standing on top of a gorgeous rock canyon out west, just beaming with spirit and vitality; a shining example of how, out of great suffering can come great beauty and strength.

    The opportunity of patience is the opportunity to stand still and be: be present, be witness, be aware, be at peace. We reward speed in our society, and there is benefit to acting on a goal once one’s mind is trained on it. However, we overlook that there is also power and benefit to patience, taking the time to process the details and truly see. Smart military leaders heed both virtues. Spiritual gurus do as well. You need the wisdom of both.

    In my Bikram yoga class, my guru, Bikram Choudray, encourages us to “have patience in your practice. Enjoy what your body can do today.” In 105 degree heat and 40 percent humidity, it takes a lot to have patience in those rooms, but I am getting better at it. I take pride in what my body is able to do now that it couldn’t when I first started a year ago. There is a lot of suffering in Bikram’s torture chamber, but through that suffering, I’ve found a strength and a peace in my body and in my mind that I didn’t have before. Those benefits didn’t come from speed. They came from stopping, getting present and actively being patient.

    Thank you my coach.

  3. The Bible calls it long suffering and I have been told I shouldn’t pray for patience because then I will be tested in the very area I’m trying to avoid. But It’s what you learn in the period of long suffering/patience that makes us stronger and more able to see the big picture. It’s when I go full speed ahead is when I miss the very thing I’m suppose to be learning. Sometimes it hurts because I want to be in control. I want what I want right now. It doesn’t work that way. I know it will all work out. It always does.

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