Free lessons in patience

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The world is your classroom, and lessons in patience abound.  Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Becoming a more patient person has massive advantages.  It reduces the pressure on your heart; it improves your relationships with others; and it helps you to spread happiness.

The good news is that the world offers you free lessons in patience; they are everywhere.

This morning, at the supermarket, the aisles were like a pile-up at a grand prix race.  Trollies were crashing into each other as everyone tried to get their Christmas shopping done in time for the rest of the day.

When your way is blocked by a glut of trolleys, it’s a prime opportunity to explore meditation.  You can analyse your own feelings, play spot-the-impatient-thought, and then work on your breathing, and your quiet focus, until you slow down, and move at the slower pace demanded by the situation.

EXAMPLES OF PATIENCE LESSONS

There are many more examples, in our everyday lives, of opportunities to practise patience:

  • HOME TERRITORY – Friendships and families are great patience-practising arenas.  We are especially sensitive to our close family and friends.  This is because they are so much a part of our lives, that we forget to afford them the distance and respect that we give to other citizens.  If they do not do what we want, we rant and rail inside our heads, expecting them to adapt to our wishes just like that.
  • TRAFFIC – Traffic problems are excellent patience practice.  We can observe how fast we wish to go, compared with how fast the traffic is allowing us to go.  We can watch patiently until our internal mood slows to match the external situation.
  • MISTAKES – Our own mistakes are also good patience lessons.  A usual human response is to become guilty or angry with oneself, telling ourselves off, and allowing our peace to be disturbed.  If we can see this happening, note the error, and resolve quietly to do better, without getting angry or upset, then we are learning something.
  • CHANGES OF PLAN – When we have to adapt to our environment, and change our plans, then we are getting excellent training in patience.  The more changes there are, the more opportunity we have to adapt.
AN EXERCISE

Just for today, watch your life for opportunities to practice patience.  These can include:

  • times when family and friends test our patience
  • times when we get stuck in traffic
  • times when we make mistakes and mess things up
  • times when life forces changes of plan upon us
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SUMMARY

Learning patience brings serious blessings.  It improves your health, your relationships, and other people’s lives.

Every day brings us free lessons in patience.  We do not even have to pay for them.  We only have to have an attitude which wants to learn it.

Whether it is frustrations with family and friends, traffic problems, mistakes, or enforced changes of plans… all of these give us a grand opportunity to learn.

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