Patience can be a hard thing to define and even a more difficult thing to obtain. Lets start with a definition: the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. Hmmm…I don’t know if that tells me much.
In my mind patience is synonymous with being at peace with what is. Patience is also a virtue to cultivate because I do not think it is something that comes natural to our minds and spirits. We grasp at what we want and we have an aversion toward we do not want to experience. Either way, it comes down to that we want what we want when we want it it.
So how do we cultivate patience? I think the first step is mindfulness. We cannot start down the path toward patience if we are not mindful of when we are impatient and what the causes of our impatience is.
“Why is patience so important?”
“Because it makes us pay attention.”
~ Paulo Coelho
In Buddhism we are taught to pay attention to everything. The gift in that type of paying attention is that we do so without judgment or condemnation. We can view our impatience with compassionate acceptance. In other words, being compassionate with ourselves and others is patience in action!
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”~ Aristotle
Now in this small blog entry I cannot do the topic justice. But, be patient with me for I will return to it once again.
I will leave you with this….
Galatians 5:22-23New International Version (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The word forbearance is another word for patience: patient self-control; restraint and tolerance.
For me this scripture tells me that as I practice spiritual principles in my life the fruits of the spiritual work I have done will result in patience. So patience, to me, is a side-effect of living and working spiritual principles in my life.