This month we’re talking about patience. Many people have trouble being patient because they think that it means they have to do nothing while they are being patient. This is just about as far from the truth as you can go. Being patient doesn’t mean you can’t do anything, it just means that you may not be able to continue with your particular goals or tasks for a period of time until things line up again. However in our overbooked, over-scheduled, over-committed world doing a little bit of nothing is probably a good thing for most of us. When you’re given the signal to wait or be patient, stop for once! Let yourself take a break and just be for 5 minutes or an hour. If you’re waiting for your car to get an oil change or waiting for your customer service call to be answered, take a load off for a bit. Let your mind release all the stress it’s been dealing with and just relax.
If you’re given a bit longer to wait, maybe a few days or a season, it’s best to find something else constructive to do with your time rather than wasting away, for example if you’re dealing with an illness or job loss. My personal favorite patience fillers are taking regular walks, picking up a book, or learning a new skill. If you know you have downtime rather than banging your head against the wall or annoying everyone in your life, choose to do something productive with your time.
But don’t just choose anything, choose activities that aren’t in line with the thing you’re being patient with. For example, constantly surfing for jobs isn’t doing something else while you’re waiting to get a job. Learning a new skill that can help you in your chosen field, or any aspect of life is OK though. The point is that if you continue in the vein of what you’re waiting on it will make the wait seem even longer and more challenging. Instead, choose to do things that will empower you and support you when your waiting is over. You may even find out that what you were waiting for wasn’t exactly right or there was something better to be found on the way.
“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” Robert H. Schuller