Every morning I wake up and do three things – I stretch, I write my “I am” statements, and I set intentions for the day. Something as simple as this requires a great deal of patience and dedication (for me). This small practice has allowed me to reflect on the ways in which I’ve approached patience throughout my life in the past; and I’ve come to realize that I need a patience reality-check.
I’ve learned one or two things about patience in the past few months. First and foremost, I cannot practice patience once and then consider myself to be a patient person. That just doesn’t work. Second, it is not real patience if I expect it to work within “my timeline.” Patience has no bounds or time limits. I voice this reality with frustration, and the acknowledgment that I am not always a patient person. My most recent battle with patience relates to my recovery from an eating disorder.
I heartily believed that by acknowledging my eating disorder I would recover quickly and live a full life. This hasn’t been the case. In the beginning, I fought against taking time off school. Now after making a medical withdraw I still find myself rushing to get back to the very environment that led me to the depths of my eating disorder. I’m a bit ashamed of this tendency – this desire to rush through life; I so believed that I would feel whole within weeks and that my behaviors would change instantly. As it turns out, I’m a bit of a fighter when it comes to change. Logically I understand why recovery doesn’t happen instantly; yet I still fight. Therefore, I’m having to work on finding more patience within my life. This means inviting fluidity into my life and greater acceptance.
Patience, just like stillness, requires constant attention and work. Learning to connect mind-body and soul is my current practice in patience. I will dedicate myself heartily to the process, and I fully expect to face difficulty along the way.
“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” – David G. Allen