L3: Practice Patience

This one is a major toughie for me. I am scandalously impatient. I want to achieve my goals and I want to achieve them now! But by failing to practice patience, I am shortchanging myself, other people, and the potentially beautiful results of allowing things to unfold without my incessant prodding and interference.

Waiting is not a punishment; it is actually an opportunity to reflect, meditate, pray, and realize the many intricacies and delicacies of the natural process of life. Lingering fulfillment of goals builds a sense of anticipation that arouses joy and excitement. When those goals are finally achieved, a greater appreciation for the results will ensue. This may be difficult to realize during the time you are waiting, but in retrospect we nearly always know that what we have created was worth the wait.

Great things must be done with great care. When we hurry or rush the process, we risk being sloppy and counterproductive. Experiences that are carefully cultivated with tenderlovingcare hold greater meaning and value than those that are expedited to save time or money.

Sustainable change takes time. Think in terms of long-term results rather than short term indulgences. Meaningful relationships, sufficient resources, and efficient and effective processes are highly complex phenomena that, when lovingly developed and nurtured, will lead you toward fulfillment of your vision.

While it is helpful to continually reflect upon your vision and its meaning, both to you and to the world, it is equally important that we remain centered in the present moment. When we place too much emphasis on the past or the future, we miss out on the present or, as some people refer to it, “the gift.” Right now, you are alive and alight with the brilliance of your existence; each breath is an affirmation that this very moment is only time we truly have to enjoy.

In addition to neglecting patience in terms of time, we sometimes lose patience with ourselves and other people. When people fail to meet our expectations, it is easy to react with interrogation and condescension. Remember that time is available to you to reflect before responding. While time is a precious resource that few of us have to spare, using it in this way will improve your ability to respond with compassion in the future. It will also build trust and understanding, preventing the current situation from escalating. Consider it a wise investment.

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