Understanding Patience

Are you present and contented?

Image by manfredrichter
I’m siting in my room waiting. I’m impatient for something to happen. I feel frustrated and anxious. I feel like I’m suffering, there’s almost a physical pain, to my impatience

In that moment, back then, I’m about ten years old. I’ve always struggled with empty moments; when there’s nothing happening. During this time the void is filled with anxiety, wanting and the nonexistent silence. I might spend time running through imaginary scenarios in my mind, seeking to figure out what I’d like to do, in order to fill up these nothing moments. Often, none of the scenarios I imagine take my fancy, and so I’m just left with feelings of frustration, over my sense that time, is being wasted. And our time is short.

I’ve since learnt to lower my expectations and understand how inevitable it is that a lonely and unstimulated child will suffer

The opposite, is an overly stimulated child, who doesn’t know this nothingness and then grows into an adult who always crams to much in; late for everything and everyone. Finding somewhere in between is the ideal. The ability to calmly make a plan for the day appreciating how long each activity will take.

Oddly enough I’m drawn to nothingness; the desire to do nothing. It’s as if my mind is seeking to show me what exists within this nothingness; that my mind is seeking to reveal the root of my frustration: a childhood of neglect

It’s often the case, that the many children who experience neglect, build powerful imaginations. We could even say that the building of a powerful imagination was our coping mechanism. Certainly useful as a child and also useful when seeking creativity as an adult. One thing we must now learn though, is the ability to quieten such an imagination. The mind can become hopelessly addicted to the stimulation our imagination provides. We must learn the patience needed to calm ourselves, and accept that we are no longer a child, that craves the stimulation and company of an absent parent.

Patience comes from maturity and wisdom. Emotional maturity reveals how ridiculous it is, to expect something to happen, if we just wait long enough. Wisdom shows us what we must do to make our desires a reality

Impatience is borne from a mind that is constantly casting itself into an imagined future. A mind that is untamed – believing that time is short – will be frustrated to be elsewhere doing something else, seeking fulfillment of impossible dreams. Patience comes when we cease the unnecessary search; when we’re able to move from one moment to the next, content in ourselves; expectations properly placed. Stop listening to the nonexistent.

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