Did you know that the dictionary defines Patience as “a willingness to suppress restlessness and annoyance when confronted with delay”? In other words, if we don’t freak out when we don’t get what we want when want it, if instead we hold back expressing the restlessness and annoyance we feel, according to Merriam-Webster we are being patient!
But the Spiritual Quality of Patience is nothing like that. It isn’t about stuffing negative emotions and acting like we don’t care what’s going on. It’s not about being untruthful if we’re feeling impatient. And even though it’s a good idea for us not to express everything we feel when we feel it, or say everything we think when we think it, Patience isn’t about “faking it until we make it” because we can’t fool the Creative Universe that is responding to the vibration we’re emitting through our thoughts and feelings. If it’s restlessness and annoyance we’re feeling, it’s the vibration of restlessness and annoyance we’re emitting. Even if we’re not expressing it, we’re still creating our experience of life with anxious impatient energy.
The peaceful, trust-filled Patience that lives in us is never restless or annoyed because It doesn’t depend on outer conditions to be Present within us for us to feel and express. Its Presence, when we let our self feel It, keeps our mind clear, and allows us to authentically feel a calm sense of well-being no matter what’s occurring, or hasn’t occurred yet, around us. It is an unwavering trust that Divine Timing includes the perfect timing for every outcome in our life and in the world. The Chapter on “Patience” in A Course in Miracles tells us that Patience is natural to those who trust; that those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait without doubt that the time will be as right as is the answer.
Waiting seems to be an unavoidable part human scheduling. The world is run by clocks, calendars and deadlines that often cause events, conditions and situations to appear to be past due, overdue or delayed. And, no matter how quickly time seems to fly by in this world much of our time in it seems to be spent waiting for something—waiting to get on with something we need to do; waiting to get through something we’re doing; and waiting to do something we want to do but can’t do yet.
If our patience goes no deeper than the suppression of restlessness and annoyance, that suppressed energy builds within us like a grenade with a pulled pin that even the slightest thing can cause to detonate. Ever wondered why you overreacted to someone or some situation that, in retrospect, didn’t seem to call for such a negative energetic reaction from you? If we suppressing negative emotion, for any reason, that energy builds up and can cause us to explode with a tirade of anger in any situation because we’ve reached maximum pressure!
Science of Mind tells us that “What you’re looking for you’re looking with.” We could say the same thing about waiting: “What you’re waiting for you’re waiting with.” It is how we wait and what we’re waiting for that makes all the difference in how we experience the moments of our life and what we create out of our moments of waiting. In each moment we are either choosing to look for the Good and praise It, fully trusting that Good is Present in all things right where we are, and that some particular thing we desire will become visible to us in form and expression at the perfect time. Or we’re busy condemning the Present Moment because it doesn’t appear to us to contain the particular Good we want, and that’s all we’re looking for or care about.
It may seem crazy to focus on the General Good that is happening now while still waiting for a particular Good to appear. But unless we do, unless we trust It’s all Good all the time, we won’t feel the calm certainty that calls forth a positive outcome in our life (no matter what we waiting for). It is our mood and attitude while we’re waiting for specific Good unfold that either opens us up to receiving that Good or pinches us off from experiencing It (no matter how long we wait).
For example, if we’re waiting for a particular relationship to improve in some way, and while we’re waiting we’re thinking and speaking negatively about the situation—how difficult that person is to live with, work with, or deal with—the discord and unhappiness we’re focused on (while we’re waiting) will feel far more real to us, and much more in line with the story of irritation we’ve got going on within us, than the improved relationship we’re waiting for.
Or if we’re waiting for our “ship to come in” so we can experience more financial freedom, and while we’re waiting we’re thinking about and talking about our limited income—what we don’t have and what we can’t do because we can’t afford it—the lack and limitation we’re focused on (while we’re waiting) will feel more real to us, and more like the story of our life, than the abundant good we’re waiting for.
Or if we’re waiting for our health to improve, and while we’re waiting we’re constantly thinking about and talking about the health condition—the doctor’s diagnosis and prognosis, the pain we’re in and how difficult it is to live with the condition—the pain and discomfort we’re focused on (while we’re waiting) will keep us stuck in the story of illness, and suffering will feel far more real to us than the healing we’re waiting for.
Nothing in our life can change for us without our permission and participation. Nothing in the outer forms and expressions of our life can get better until we tell a better story. Until then we’re stuck to a story that’s sticking to us.
We have the “creative license” and spiritual authority say: “This is no longer the story I want to tell. This is not how my creation story is going end.” We might want to ask our self: “What do I have to say for myself? What story do I want tell now?”