Definitions: (1) the will or ability to wait calmly; (2) to endure pain or trouble without complaint, losing control, or making a disturbance; (3) quietly tolerating delay, confusion, or inefficiency; (4) refusing to be provoked or angered by insult; forbearing; (5) ministering to the growth of the uneducated or inexperienced; accommodating the needs of growing children; (6) steadiness, endurance, or perseverance in performing a task; diligent; (7) steadfast and consistent action; abiding; (8) able to relieve grief or anguish
Derivation: Latin, “to suffer”
Synonyms: composed, constant, even-tempered, equanimity, fortitude, imperturbable, long-suffering, persistent, poise, self-controlled, stoic
Patience refers to the quietness or self-possession of one’s own spirit; resignation refers to the submission of one’s own will to the will of another.
Note: One of the definitions of tolerance is “to put up with.”
Balancing Qualities: Adaptable, Foresight, Humor, Initiative, Prepared
Compatible Qualities: accommodating, assertive, open, persistent, perspicacious
Note: Having the focus to pay attention to something, and being persistent enough to continue to pay attention to it, will develop patience while you are getting it done.
Parental Qualities: faith, hope
Familial Qualities: kindness, serenity, tolerance
Consequential Qualities: confidence, creativity, decisive, freedom, insight, peace, progress, self-discipline, self-esteem, stress hardy, wisdom
Quotes: The greatest gift of stone is patience. — Barry Hughart (1934 -) The Story of the Stone
Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American Poet
Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits. — Mark Twain [born Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910) American Humorist
Patience ceases to be a virtue when it permits others to waste our time. — Pauline M. Schmidt
Patience is easier if you have respect for the person or thing with which you are trying to be patient. — Judy Kain (1948 -) American Empath
Story: You’re all strung out, a hard day at work; you want to take a bath, relax in hot water. Just thinking about that bath, oh, it’s going to be great. But the damn bathtub takes forever to fill up! You’re impatient. It is not the bathtub’s fault; it’s filling up as fast as it can. The impatience is within you. You are the source of the stress because it’s not happening fast enough for your personal satisfaction. The key to patience is appreciation of progress. If you’re satisfied with the pace at which something is going, then you won’t be impatient. And sometimes you can take action to make it go faster. If you do, you are enhancing your patience because you are an active participant in moving it along.
Part of the impatience is your tense emotional condition. Anything not aligned with your narrow need for instant gratification is going to build the pressure. The trick is to not let the steam get compressed in the first place.
See also: suggestions under Stress Hardy
Affirmation: I choose to be patient. The more patient I am, the sooner I will know what my next course of action will be.
Consideration: Don’t expect your inner self to change instantly. There are instances of that, usually in extreme crisis, but you can’t go around having a life of total crisis all the time. Expect success. Work with patience and continual focus. Give yourself plenty of time. Enlightenment will come gradually or suddenly as you learn and grow and commit to it.
Visualization: You are walking in the woods. To get to the clean running stream you need to go through the briar patch. You move into its jumbled branches but it doesn’t take long to get entangled. You know you cannot stay where you are. You know clear ground is ahead. At first you move too quickly and are pricked and torn by the merciless thorns. The pain quickly teaches you to move with caution. Yet you realize you also need resolve and deliberation. You settle into the most appropriate pace. You pick the ripe berries and enjoy their sweet reward. You are thankful. You stop to remove a thorn stuck in your leg. You notice you are not annoyed by the inconvenience. You bend down to smell the rose that gave you its thorn. As you go on, you move with more confidence and realize you are being pricked less and less. You understand your movements are graceful. You catch the flight of the butterfly just as you are feeling the joy of this thorn-dance. You make your last move into the clearing. You feel relieved and yet, now that you’ve got the hang of it, you’re almost looking forward to the next encounter. You take off your shoes and cool your feet in the water.
Observation: It is easier to be patient with those we judge to be ignorant than with those who we think should know better.
• A key to patience is to be diligently present.
• To acquire patience, teach someone something.
• An aspect of patience is realizing how long it takes something to manifest. Allow that time to be.
• Patience is often misunderstood as a quality of inaction. Think instead of the inactive time as active anticipation. The hungry hunter who is quiet and attentive knows the moment to move will soon be at hand, and he must be ready.
• There is a time tension the patient person sets up, creating an appropriate and favorable outcome. That is, a realization that all will truly be well; brightening the present with hope, beginning the journey into the future. If you cannot see or sense that lighter day, look farther into the future or into a different one.
• Those in power, whether political, parental, industrial, or educational, tend to say, “Be patient.” Often what is really being demanded is not patience but compliance. Know the difference.
• The true nature of the quality of patience has more to do with movement. Patience will deliver the intended goal. If one also has a steadfast intention with hard-working development, there will be consistent progress toward the goal.
Ideally patience is more than a passive, hopeful wish that what you want will come your way. But if that is the only level of activity possible, then you are being actively patient; your desire to participate in the advancement toward your goal is being met.
Admonition: Use the memory of your experiences as fuel to illuminate the present and the future. Hold with a sensitive, confident faith that the meanings and values of the past will remain in your life. Project your mind and heart into some possible futures and your choices will be clearer.
How to Live This Quality Today: You might be standing in line to talk to the clerk. While you’re there, you can be organizing your comments to present your needs. Occupy your mind with something you enjoy. No time to waste on boredom. Read a book. Talk to the people in line with you. Think about what you need to do when you leave. Plan your vacation.
Symbols: 1) the tortoise; 2) primrose flowers
Legendary Figure: The Lady Enid, in Arthurian legend was a model of constancy, loyalty, and patience
Bibliography: Read about the patience of Job in the Bible. Although Job has been much credited with patience, his story is primarily one of faith. Nevertheless, patience is one of the roots of faith.