How to Become Patient
By Thao Nguyen
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a patient person. I get increasingly anxious and irritated the more someone makes me wait, the later they are for an appointment, or the more they cause me to fall behind schedule. Usually, this results in me being extremely snappy with my companion or having some sort of anxiety attack. It’s something that’s always bothered me, my obsession with promptness. But that is something that is manageable, after all, the people I’m scheduled to meet up with will ultimately arrive (unless something horrible happened to them, which is the first thing that pops into my mind in these scenarios). But my patience isn’t just short when it comes to appointments. I’m also incredibly impatient about getting things that may never become realized or are a long long ways down the road. For example, waiting for a job that is fulfilling and well paid, waiting for a boyfriend that is trustworthy and compatible with me, or waiting for a sense of peace in all the parts of my life.
Lack of patience for the things that I feel are missing in my life, but completely out of my control is a major cause of distress and anxiety in my life. I would love to be more laidback and less distraught about these yearnings. However, learning to live peacefully with these desires is difficult when there’s that constant niggling fear that the longing will never be fulfilled. Becoming more patient has been a goal of mine that I’ve been putting off for a long time (hypocritical, I know). So this year, I finally decided to give it a go. For the last few months I’ve attempted to be more mindful about waiting. At first, I was frustrated that patience didn’t come right away. But after following the practices I’ve listed below, I feel like I’m a t much better place than I’ve ever been before. If you find yourself feeling forlorn about things that have yet to be realized, give these steps a try.
Face your deepest desire. If you’re like me, you have probably tried avoiding you longings and pretending like they didn’t really bother you or even exist. Part of it may be embarrassment from wanting thats so badly, while everyone else around you seems content with what they have, and another part of it may be a belief that ignoring your unease, will make it go away eventually. In my experience, this always fails, and I end up obsessing and stressing even more. Let yourself embrace the parts of your life that feel lacking, and let that open your eyes to what you want most. By allowing yourself to face this, you can start to figure out properly how to address the feelings of dissatisfaction.
Be hopeful and keep an open mind. No matter how long you’ve been waiting, don’t despair. I know it can be disappointing when day after day goes by without the thing you want coming into your life. You may feel helpless and agitated because you’ve already done everything you can to make these desires come true. Don’t give into these feelings. Being pessimistic won’t make the waiting anymore pleasant, but staying hopeful and keeping a positive attitude will make the waiting easier to handle. At the same time, keep an open mind. You might have an idea of what it would take to make these aspirations feel satisfied, but sometimes the gratification may come in the way you least expect.
Don’t settle.It can be tempting to settle for a quick fix or for something that only addresses part of yearnings. But this will only lead to disappointment and frustration with yourself and with the so-called solution. Respect yourself enough to know that you deserve something that will bring you happiness in the long run. Something that is immediately available may seem attractive if you’ve been waiting for a long time, but don’t you think all of the uncertainty that came with the waiting warrants something better?