Patience does not come easily to me.
I’m a sales professional at a consulting firm and an avid marathoner: two worlds where success is measured in time and every number counts. If a million dollars is earned over two years instead of one year, it loses value; Three 26.2-mile runs in two hours separate an Olympian from a mere elite athlete.
Fortunately, I also have passion meditation, an act that transcends time and enhances intimacy through the virtue of patience. The connection between meditation and patience contains a generative power that I want to share in this post.
As technology and culture continue to merge, we need to wait less and less for what we want.
Ours mobile devices From home appliances to live video footage of a natural disaster thousands of miles away, everything delivered to us has become a veritable digital menu to order. I can imagine to today’s younger generation that developing patience can seem very strange, even worse, blind and backward.
I can even accept the concept of patience as “giving up,” especially when our world is so clearly desperate for change. After all, if I make a big move, I expect to see results! I’m a fighter by nature, so the word “patience” can carry an air of fearful resignation to me.
But all this is mostly superficial a knee-jerk reaction to what patience means rather than the truth of what it is.
Patience is not passive
There is a quote from 18c Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the English writer and poet of the century, blows my mind: “Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; is a concentrated power”.
Recently, I had to face the deeper meaning of patience.
Until I turn 42 in the next few weeks On my birthday in November, I will begin a potentially life-changing shamanic retreat, spend almost two weeks of business meetings on the West Coast, visit my wife’s family in Florida, have eye surgery to correct my nearsightedness, and a year of intense wholeness. marathon training.
This is a gig for my wife and I to raise our two-year-old son and all of our family responsibilities.
Each of these activities has special meaning for me; something I love to do or something I’ve never done and look forward to experiencing. All of these activities are opportunities I choose to push me toward my longer distance goals. They are important to me.
I thought I would be filled with excitement and energy because of the short time they were stuck. After all, I was productive and taking massive action for my bigger vision!
However, instead of feeling excited and energized, I felt calm and empty, like walking through a vast and desolate desert. It became clear that any activity, no matter how personally significant or monumental, consists of a series of small single actions.
For example, I had an eye operation to correct severe nearsightedness that I have had since childhood; it is a life changer. But this does not happen at once.
I had to research and choose a surgeon. I had to ride the euphoria of imagined anticipation and hang in there as my due diligence began to reveal the enormous risk I was taking with the particular surgical approach I had chosen. I had to research more surgeons. I had to take off work to go to clinics and make sure I got back in time for my wife and son. I had to plan my finances. and so on.
I was rowing my way through an ocean of choices and things to do, most of them mundane, that filled the vast gulf of these next few weeks. I didn’t feel it exceeded. I felt bored and it confused me. How could I feel bored with so many activities that are important to me?
As I explored boredom, I found that underlying it was a kind of existential malaise. When I’m doing “everything” I want, it’s only possible to do one thing at a time. It’s often a small thing. This small thing actually has an echo of the bigger thing you want. And you can’t “own” it as an object, something you can put in your pocket or on a shelf (though you always imagine you can).
Inner Silence creates Wholeness
It was only when I was he meditated that I found comfort. A meditation space can encompass this ocean of small things and make it one. In stillness I could be with everything. Inner silence naturally creates wholeness.
The deeper meaning of patience began to unfold within me. I was grateful for how something as simple as sitting still allows you to touch the universe.
I realized that in the complex multitude of choices I had to make, meaningful or uneventful, my self-awareness was the only constant that held them together. And that’s where patience comes in.
Patience is Action
Patience is not waiting for something to happen. It’s about becoming more and more attuned to the depth of your life’s flow.
There is so much going on in your experience that your mind cannot keep up with it all. But just as it takes effort to bring more focus and commitment to your life, it also empowers you. Our most inspired thoughts and motivations cannot be realized if we abandon them too easily. It’s like uprooting a sapling that has no chance to grow.
Patience is allowing our lives to take root so we can reach the heights.