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“Nature doesn’t hurry and yet, everything is accomplished.” I’ve always liked this quote by Lao Tzu. I first read it many years ago and it has long served as a powerful reminder to me when I'm lacking patience. Nature doesn’t hurry. The notion that nature could even hurry seems absurd. And further, makes humans look a little silly for so often being caught in a constant state of ‘hustle’.
What’s the hurry?
How does it help to rush?
Why is patience so hard sometimes?
There aren’t many things I regret from my children’s early childhood days. But I remember a lack of patience. I believe we hurried a lot.
We rushed, when probably we didn’t need to move quite so fast.
We hurried, when in hindsight...we would have arrived here, in their teenage years, unscathed...even if we’d slowed down a bit.
Little people move slowly sometimes. They dawdle and they meander. They’re taking it all in. While they aren't always patient themselves, children are excellent patience professors for the rest of us.
I remember urging my children to move faster.
I recall wishing the days would pass more quickly.
It's a shame, really. Lots of moments missed because I lacked patience.
After years of life experience, I’ve noticed that most adults are rarely patient.
They try. And then they squirm. And fret. And complain.
Our patience is short-lived. We’re good at being briefly patient.
Short red lights.
Swift moving lines.
24-hour turnaround time.
Patience is indeed a virtue. I want more of it.
Breathing helps. When I return to my breath I find it easier to wait.
Currently, my impatience is usually with myself. As I strive to continue growing and learning...ultimately to become a better human, I realize I want it all to occur now. I don't want to wait for the improved version of me!
I want the changes I’m working towards to happen and stick. I don’t want to wait. Time is passing. There’s only so much time for me to figure it all out.
And then I shift.
I remember that life is in the ‘figuring it out’. I offer slack to my impatient self.
Breathing helps. A build-in, instant reminder to pause. Allow the inhale, permit the exhale. Rushing would result in hyperventilation. That seems unnecessary. So, just breathe. Practice patience.
How’s your patience?
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