We live in an incredible instant society. You can find answers to your questions immediately on google, microwave a dinner in minutes, and get a parcel delivered the next day. Even our medication is speeding up with promises of ‘instant relief’ from coughs, colds, aches and pains. It’s great! But the downside is that we’ve lost the art of patience. Waiting becomes irritating, frustrating or downright annoying.
However, there will be times in our lives when patience is exactly what is required. When we’ve been ill and need time to recuperate, when we’ve suffered the shock of a relationship breakdown, or when we’ve lost someone we love. Patience sets a gentle pace which allows us space to breathe with the time to reflect and process the impact.
Patience promotes our capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. I often talk to my clients about homeostasis – the function to maintain a stable equilibrium. For example, our body works hard to keep us within our ‘normal’ range, so if we get too hot, we sweat; too cold, we shiver. It works with our emotions too, enabling us to bounce back after an unsettling episode. But this process can take time. And if we suffer a number of upsetting issues in quick succession, it can take even longer. There is no quick fix.
So, if you have suffered an illness and are finding it hard to get back to work, or you’ve broken up with someone and are being encouraged to ‘move on’ by your friends, or you’re still grieving a loved one years after their death I would encourage you to have a little patience. Give yourself permission to rest and reflect. If you’d like support during this process why not consider counselling? Patience isn’t weakness. Seeking support doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Understanding what patience can offer will make you stronger and more resilient.