‘Patience, patience, patience –have patience. Things will happen…it takes time….’ Remember hearing that???
Patience has been taught to us as a great virtue…preached day in and out…and needless to say number of whatsappp videos that everyone keeps coming across.
We all would agree that it’s easy to start with being patient. One does not look for immediate results; t puts lot of efforts with lot of energy… but midway something happens. Something undesirable happens. May it be work, business, relationships, home, kids, whatever…it’s easy to stay calm, composed, patient initially, and then something happens. The beast within starts to show up. One starts to loose. Loose grip on oneself. Loose the balance. Lose patience.
Why do we lose patience? Why do different people have different degree of staying patient? Is it environment always so powerful?
To understand it, it’s important to understand ‘Who is this who loses patience?’
We live in self-image. We have some image of ourselves that we are constantly projecting. Don’t you remember saying ‘I am like this, like that’? And since it’s our image, it’s important that we stand by it, we protect it. Interestingly, this image has nothing to do with reality. We have no understanding of who we are; in fact we have never asked this most pertinent question – Who am I?
The world tells us who we are. We are brother, sister, mother, father, son, daughter, professional, artist, scientist, citizen, entrepreneur, student. We are jolly, angry, sweet, calm, intelligent, stupid, fast, slow, beautiful, ugly, tall, short, fat, thin, gorgeous, sexy, traditional, modern…the list is endless.
When we already know so much about ourselves, there is an implicit obligation to prove it. We then torture ourselves to live by them. Every identity has certain image and we constantly strive to fit in or change the same. Whatever we do, identity as the centre remains.
It is important to remember that every identity brings set of obligation with itself. I cannot enjoy the benefits of the identity without paying the price. For example, I cannot enjoy the benefits of being a sister till the time I do not fulfil the obligations that the identity brings alongwith. Now, we very easily say ‘But this is how it is! This is how it happens’. Really? Why? This ‘why’ we never ask. Is this not business like?
Under the camouflage of identity, whatever role we are playing, it is easy to confirm to that in the beginning. So, a mother finds easy to be patient with the child in the beginning, one finds it easy to understand the spouse, sibling, parents etc. in the beginning – thanks to the identity – but as time passes, to keep up to the desired obligation of identity and hence keep patience becomes difficult, extremely difficult. That is when we lose it, we become angry, upset, irritated, we sulk.
Now an important question – who can have patience? Many ask – how do I develop patience?
Let me open up another dimension altogether.
Patience cannot be developed. Patience is the expression, the outcome, the byproduct of Faith. Faith, not in someone, not in some source, not in some deity or Guru or anything; just faith. Faith that whatever happens, I may term it as good or bad, but that only is good. Faith that it doesn’t matter what happens, it’s okay. Faith that I am not that big or powerful to drive my life, it is existence that is driving the life which I seem to hold. Faith that everything is always alright. Faith that I am not the doer. Let earthquake happen, it’s okay. Let my leg fracture, it’s okay. Let relationships show it’s true colour, it’s okay. Let me be kicked out of my job, it’s okay.
We live in a world where we are taught doership. We are taught that it is ‘I’ who has to do. It is ‘I’ who must shape his life. The world out there is dangerous one. It is ‘I’ who has to protect myself.
This doer can never be available to Faith. It demands complete surrender to the existential process to be faithful. And patience is not for the faithless. Faith is for the surrendered one.
We, actually, have trained ourselves to believe that we have patience. The fact is, we do not have. That is why when it seems to be testing times, suffering dawns, impatience shows. We either feel as a victim and ask ‘Why me’, or get aggressive and all the hidden tendencies and emotions start to show up. Now, there we are – angry, irritated, sulking, complaining, cursing, cribbing, crying.
sAsk yourself – Why do I want to interfere? Why do I want something to happen? Why am I not aligned to the existential processes? Why do I strongly believe that it’s I who can do something? Can I really influence the happening?
All that is required is an honest enquiry. And that is all.