What patience is not is tolerance. It is wisdom to recognize that things unfold in their own way and there is always a motive or explanations behind crude incidences or maddening behaviours of people. Patience is to grasp that the expediency of an act such as getting angry does not clarify or resolve frustration encountered by unexpected circumstances.
The intensity of what annoys or displeases is how you perceive the intentions. Still, whether deliberate or accidental, is up to you to fuel haste into a situation out of fear and anxiety or to realize that you will benefit from a strong pull on your impulses.
During your lifespan, confrontation happens and on many occasions, your rage starts to mount. Although, knowing well that keeping your temper under control is the wisest choice, it is not an easy task. How can you interrupt the impatience and remain calm in the face of irritating people? Well, according to the French philosopher Emile-August Chartier (known as Alain): “Never say that people are evil, you just need to look for the pin”. Consciously assuming that irrational behaviours of others that cause agony are driven by some sort of internal suffering, surely will support your efforts to curb the anger. Switching your emotions from agitation to compassion and empathy allows you to be in control over your thoughts and actions.
We can grow out of the habit of impatience, mindfully. Clearly, you are aware of the ways of nature, change of seasons, the harvest or the metamorphosis of butterflies, the common thread is that the process has different stages and it is on a different timetable. In nature, you wait for the full cycle with patience, maybe if you apply the same principle in all your endeavours, the course of action and the psyche during the undertaking will allow you to be in the moment and live a rewarding life.
Try these strategies to cultivate patience:
- Set a rule: lean back, take deep breaths and count to 15 if the tension is rising
- Scan your body and relax the tense muscles
- Consciously choose to be calm
- Act patient, talk slowly
- Actively listen
- Practice empathy the same way you offer it to children
- Remind yourself that unpleasant, frustrating and at times dreadful circumstances arise and it is out of your control. The only thing that you have full control is your ability to remain patient.