Patience: It’s Not Just A Virtue Anymore

Patience is a virtue

That’s what I was told as a child.  I admit, I had absolutely no idea what that meant.  I can remember hearing others being told the exact same words, so felt it must be true.  Patience must have been important to other families too.  Not just something my own mother pretended was true!

I’m not going to go into too much detail about that but suffice to say that she served our breakfast cereal with apple juice one morning.  Rather than admit that she had forgotten to get milk the night before on our way home from ballet class, she said…and I quote: “It’s very Continental, you know.  It adds a ‘Je ne sais quoi'”.  (I can certainly tell you ‘quoi’ was added and it rhymes with Cat Kiss).  At the time, though, my brother and I knew she was feeding us a bowl of horse pucks but we just laughed and choked down the cereal.

But I digress…

We speak of patience in others as a badge

Patience is often lauded as a character trait that people have or do not have.  That so-and-so has the Patience of Job.  That this other person ‘Doesn’t have the patience for it’ meaning that they aren’t cut out for a particular job or vocation.  In this article by The Guardian, we seem to be running low on patience these days so it is now a form of power.  Patience seems to be something that we magically either have or we don’t have.

Or so I thought…

As I’ve mentioned before, I am dealing with a horrendous and intense pressure head pain from being upright as a result of a CSF Leak that I have had for the past 17 months.  Headache is a much too general and insufficient word to describe it as it is really a daily concussive state that keeps repeating any time I am upright.  (In summary: not fun!)

As a result of my condition, I am learning a kind of patience that I never ever thought possible.

Was I born patient?

To start off, I have been a relatively patient person most of my life.  I think my patience with little ones is what lead me to a career in Education.  I can remember, even as a little girl, being able to play and entertain much younger guests who came to visit at our house and my mother would marvel that I wouldn’t tire of being the minder.

Waiting for months and months for medical testing and diagnoses and other aspects of my care is a whole different ball game.  I have had to dig very deep in my inner resources to be patient and open-minded about the overall slow pace of the medical process where I live.  You can read about how I handle medical challenges here and here.

Learning a new depth of patience

The other day, I was in my garden, and I waited and waited and waited to get the photo of this insect on the daisy.  As I waited, I watched and marveled at all the activity going on.  A bee would flit in and about to get his chance and the blue bug, I have no idea what he is, would take a fly by to see if he could get a feed.  Then another fly would angle in and alight onto the flower and off he would go.  This dance of ins and outs of these little guys had me intrigued for quite a few minutes. The blue guy just hovered around waiting patiently for his turn.

Once in place, he took his time.  He drank the nectar with, what I can now see thanks to my camera zoom, his proboscis. The little flyer just sipped and sipped and delighted in the juices he was imbibing.  He would flit back up and take a new position, and then back to siphoning off nectar again. Patience.  It can only be described as such.

Can we learn patience?  I really believe we can.

Does it come with practice?  Yes, I believe it does.

Can we get more patient? Indeed, when the Universe chooses to present to us our opportunity, we can do nothing else but learn to be patient.

Nature has it all figured out from the get-go!

Taking photographs in nature is a wonderful, fun way to work on my patience.  When holding a camera so close to a subject in order to get a super close-up, I have to practice my breathing techniques.  This not only helps when taking the actual shot but it helps to remind me to slow down and wait for my opportunity.  A missed shot means more patience practice and a need for deeper relaxation. I’m not going to lie, I was delighted that I waited it out and got the shot of this bug.  I only wish you could have seen it, too.  He truly was magnificent!

Patience is my SOMETHING WONDERFUL for today.

Love Ingrid x

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