Impatience – Selfish or Unhappiness?

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The practice of patience asks us to be able to wait for our turn. It may be in school if we are a child, in line at the store or at a traffic light if we are an adult. When we are finding it hard to wait, all kind of thoughts goes through our mind. We wonder, sometimes out loud, why it is taking so long. We get restless and fidget. Words of disdain may come out of our mouths that we wish we could take back. Why does this happen?

Think for a minute about impatience. When a person is not patient, they are not able to tolerate anything that gets in their way of getting what they want – when they want it. It may be a chance to get food, win a game, get where they are going. The only person they are thinking about is themselves. They are not considering what the other people may need or what they are experiencing. In other words, they are selfish.

I have found though that it is not always about selfishness. Impatience may be born out of a dislike of something regarding ourselves. We may not be happy with who we are as a person. Consider for a minute that we are very goal oriented, constantly in a rush to reach a goal or finish something we envisioned. Are we enjoying the present moment and the journey? If not, we may believe that achieving the goal is what is going to bring us happiness. Is our happiness based on completing a task, project, fulfilling a vision? Or are we covering up a fear of not being seen as good enough by others? Therefore, we push – even others out of the way to reach our happiness. Once we get there are we happy or do we go through the cycle again?

Patience is about being in this moment. We can be goal oriented and have a vision. But our vision and goals should never be put up as more important than the people and relationships we have around us.

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