Recognizing Our True Behavior – Patience

I thought I was being Patient, until I saw I was being Stubborn.

Patience, in the adjective form, implies acceptance or tolerance of delays or problems without becoming annoyed or anxious. Patience, therefore, is a function of not seeing ourselves as more important that others. Things are allowed to be as they are without any effort on our part to manage or control to have what we desire. In fact, the lack of annoyance or anxiety means we are at ease with the situation even though we may not understand or appreciate it.

Being stubborn has some similar elements in that we do not actively intervene in a situation. But stubbornness exists without the acceptance that comes with patience. Usually stubbornness comes with a dissatisfaction or even disgust with what is happening. Even though we may stand quietly in the background, there is an air of frustration and disapproval in how we view the situation. Such feelings of non-acceptance are expressed in facial expressions and body language that are nearly impossible to hide.

In order to transition from stubbornness to patience we use the three principles of Acceptance, Forgiveness and Humility. For many of us this implies a form of weakness or passivity that seem to be at odds with the strong, self-directed image we like to project. However, each of these three principles need to be applied toward ourselves so they can feel what is going on inside us and therefore have an impact on what is going on outside us.

We need to accept our true nature, our natural aversion to unstructured or even chaotic situations. Only then can we show patience to what is going on outside us. Similarly, we need to forgive ourselves for the limits of our patience that compels us to attempt to take control. Without cutting ourselves some slack, we are not likely to show patience. Patience is an act of humility. When we have a modest view of our own importance we are more likely to fit ourselves to what is.

List a few incidences when you experienced some impatience. How might you have handled the situation with more patience and how would that have affected the outcome of the situation?

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