Do you dislike waiting? I certainly do. I always have. I hate waiting in traffic. I hate waiting for results. I hate waiting for wifi to load my pages. When I was 10 years old, it was sheer agony waiting for my boobs to come in. I would literally cry to my mom professing my deepest fear that they were “NEVER COMING EVER”. As an adult the waiting still sucks but the issues are more serious. Patience is something I have to work exceedingly hard to obtain because unfortunately waiting is an unavoidable part of life. We can either learn to cope or drive ourselves mad.
What is patience? “The capacity to accept or tolerate delay without getting upset” Usually delays are out of your control. If you’re a type A personality, like me, this can activate anxiety. I am hard wired with a propensity to “do”; I take action. I like movement, progress, tasks, accomplishments, etc. Couple this with an allergy to laziness and you can have a real control freak on your hands. (Not you of course…) But what I like about action oriented people is that they get things done. There are a billion things to love about us as long as you are not in our way.
But there is a danger to such drive. Impatience is the thief of peace. It keeps your mental focus constantly on the future thereby stealing your ability to be present in the now. This is such a shame. The past is gone and future un-promised. All we have is the now! Yet we trade its beauty for anxiety and wonder why we’re discontent. Additionally dangerous is the potential for impatience to cost you your ultimate goal because you’re not willing to wait. (Maybe your sleeping with randoms cause you won’t wait for the right one; maybe you gave up on reconciling that friendship cause it took time to forgive and you just couldn’t; maybe you opted for plastic surgery cause going to the gym just takes way to long…) There is beauty in the journey and you deserve to experience that.
Remembering these three concepts has helped me relax a lot…
- Re-classify waiting from being an act of passivity to an action in and of itself. If you have done all you can do to attain a certain goal – your next task is to wait. That’s not inaction. That’s not laziness. It is in fact the most important action you can take at that moment. If you never allow time to take its course you run the risk of becoming easily defeated.
- Schedule rest. An exhausted mind is a limited mind. Block a chunk of time from your day or week and stop. Respect your body, your mind, your soul and your spirit enough to take good care of them. They run all the time for you – doing what you need them to do. Return the favor and give them a break.
- Trust. Trust the process and know why you are waiting and what you are waiting for. Again, these tips are for those of us who are impatient and action oriented. (If you are prone to procrastinate or put things off – waiting isn’t that difficult for you.) Trust that you have properly planned, properly executed and will properly sustain. Trust God that if He has called you to whatever it is you are doing or working for that He will honor your patience and come through for you.
Don’t wake up one day and realize you were so stressed out by all you had to “do” that you forgot why you were doing it in the first place. Enjoy your partners, your kids, your careers, your dreams, and yourself! Value the minutes in a day because they are priceless.