Patience is Not My Virtue!

Ever heard the phase, “Patience is a virtue”?  I have heard this phrase over and over since my childhood and I never really have absorbed the true meaning…nor am I known to practice it often.  I know it is important to be patient, to wait with calm and coolness to take my turn but I’m more of a hurry up and “are we there, yet” kinda gal.  To be “slow and steady”, like the tortoise in the Tortoise and the Hare, is extremely difficult for me.  I want to get there, experience it and move on…a pace that often gets me into trouble.  I’m always thinking ahead, not being mindful in the moment which can cause me to miss an opportunity to enjoy what is in front of me.  Thinking too far ahead brings about distraction, preoccupation and dissociation from the reality that is currently front and center.  When one is patient, there is a source of calm, peace and attention that comes with waiting.  As I have grown older, I have learned that when forced to be patient, I can truly look at the landscape and find creative solutions that would not necessarily be present in a rush. 

While there are some cons to not living in the present mental moment, there are positives to moving quickly:  completing tasks early with time to spare, thinking ahead can help anticipating future possible outcomes and preparing myself mentally but with any upside, there is a downside.  I have been known to speed when driving (the local and state police are unfortunately on a first name basis with me), I tend to interrupt conversations because I’m thinking too far ahead and I miss details that become important later which can lead to delays and miscommunications.  As I write this, I am reminded of personality traits and flaws I have that can compliment or hinder processes but I am proud that I am aware and awake to them.  When I do a mental inventory and I look within myself, I recognize that the frustration I have with the concept of “patience” is the mental work that goes into maintaining a sense of calm when an expected or anticipated outcome is either delayed or MIA. 

Music education is my passion and I have been very fortunate to have a wonderful school with fantastic teachers, a phenomenal general manager and a terrific admin staff.  My vision is to expand, provide more to my community and to reach out to school systems and communities outside our region.  My dream has been building for the last several years and the more I dream, the more “impatient” I get.  Ideas for a larger facility for performances, jam sessions, community classes swirl around in my mind…my desire is there but the means and location are not.  Plans are developing for the next 2 years and as excitement for the concepts are there, I have to hurry up and wait, to BE PATIENT!  

It is times like these when I think about when my children get impatient.  There is one child in particular that is regularly nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama.  Charlotte has a tendency to throw a fit, and when I say “fit” we are talking head thrown back, shrill cry/scream, arms and fists rigid at the sides, stomping, flaying, teeth gnashing, the works – in other words, her five year old brother takes on the title of “Captain Maturity” at that point.  I watch with my poker face, all the while internally my eyes are rolling so far back in my head, they are rubbing my brain stem and it takes all my “patience” to maintain sanity and not threaten to sell her to the Gypsies – charging by the pound.   She typically will digress, becoming the Hulk for 25 seconds until the threat of no screen time brings about panicked apologies and self correction.  While vaguely amusing in the privacy of home (and not so much in public), her fits remind me of what I experience internally when I don’t get my way, when circumstances don’t match up with my timing.  It is difficult to wait for what we want as well as realizing the timing is based on God and the Universe, not us.  We can set the intention of what we want, we can purposely commit action to obtain what we want but we have to be patient and give up control once all has been done to set the wheels in motion.  It is now in the hands of Source and that is so difficult to reconcile as a human.  But, it is the practice of patience that brings us closer to appreciating what we have, what we want and the efforts we make that once we are at the finish line, the outcome is so much more gratifying.

Patience is a virtue, a virtue I hope to one day incorporate into my list of traits that become part of my subconscious behaviors and thought process.  In the meantime, I will consciously continue to make an effort to “stop and smell the roses”, listen more closely and hold my tongue when others speak and accept my shortcomings in stride, with grace and peace.  

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