Patience. We’ve all heard of it, but have all managed to master it?
I don’t think so. I’ll be the first one to say that it took me my entire life to put it somewhat under control. And yet there are still moments where I feel like I am going to lose it. Honestly, today was that kind of day. Twenty minutes before getting to work, I experienced the most intense mental breakdown ever. I don’t know if it was the weather, the wind, the frigging crowd in the streets, the whole pandemic issue, my facemask suffocating me, or the fact that my bike broke on the way to work, but I lost it. And for whole 30 minutes, I couldn’t get a hold of myself. I couldn’t calm down.
I wasn’t myself. It was as if a spirit had possessed me. I felt so helpless and angry, that I was literally capable of doing something foolish and regret it 10 minutes later.
And then I started breathing. And with every breath I took, I realized that I can do it.
I CAN GET THROUGH THIS.
All I need to do is breathe and disconnect for a while…
All I need is patience.
Ah, patience my friends. That is the key to all good things in life. Honestly, it is easier said than done. So, if you by any chance feel that you can’t relate to what I am saying, it’s okay. I am not perfect either. I still haven’t mastered patience, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t talk about it, does it? In fact, that is the only way we’ll ever learn what patience is. Through challenges and tests. Through hardships and unpredictable experiences. Through life.
Being patient means having the ability to calmly accept and tolerate life’s challenges, without letting anger get the best of you. Being patient means managing to stay calm amidst the chaos. Being patient is being unbothered by the pouring rain and walking in the hailstorm without feeling nervous and uncomfortable that it’s making you wet. Being patient is about doing the complete opposite of what the current situation forces you to do. It does sound impossible, but trust me, it is not.
The thing is, we all have it, but not all of us know how to cultivate it. That is why most people out there are very quick to judge or make irrational decisions without even thinking about the potential consequences. They feel things, just like all of us, but instead of identifying those feeling and then finding a way to control them, they react. They react irresponsibly without having in mind that their behavior can harm another being. More importantly, without even realizing that their behavior can harm themselves.
It is not something that cannot be learned. It just takes time, education, discipline, self-awareness, and work. You can master patience, but first, you have to acknowledge what you feel. You have to find the courage to dive deep within yourself and accept your emotions as a crucial part of who you are. Only then you’ll be able to control them.
Every time you feel this emotional thunderstorm building up inside of you, stop. Take a mental pause and ask yourself. What am I feeling? Is it anger, sadness, grief, or something else? Where does it come from?
If you don’t feel that you can do this, just breathe. Take long, deep breaths and try to calm yourself. One thing that has also helped me find my peace in stressful moments is counting, but not from one to ten. Personally, I like to count from ten to one. This way I can feel the intensity of my anger slowly decreasing. I don’t know how or why, but it has to do something to do with the numbers descending. If my anger at that moment is 10, you can only imagine what 3 or 2 feels like. A relief.
Whatever you choose to do, know that patience is truly a virtue. The only way you will ever get out of a tough situation is by fully understanding it. It won’t always be easy, but it will always pay off.