I used to have very little patience but be extremely tolerant. My lack of patience was wanting to speed up the process. And my tolerance turned out to be allowing people to assume it was ok to put their needs before mine. However, the tables have turned and I now seem to be more patient but less tolerant and I am happy to have discovered this shift.
“Tolerance and patience should not be read as signs of weakness. They are signs of strength”
~ HH the Dalai Lama
A common thing for people to ask me is if my hair will grow back. They assume it is something I would want to happen. To be honest, if I prayed for hair growth it would be just my luck that it would return to parts of my body I am more than happy not to have to deal with anymore – too much information? Sorry about that!
In response to the assumption about regrowth (on my head), I usually say that if it does return then great but if it doesn’t, I am happy about that too. I suppose my concern would be if it did return, I may lose it again and go through the same trauma as before. I will patiently wait for whatever might happen.
Recently, I attended a speed awareness course. Initially I was most put out that I had been clocked for doing 34mph in a 30 zone. It was ’embarrassing’ and annoying. I felt at the time of receiving my notice that it would have been far more credible if I was high speeding on the motorway with my foot to floor. I have since learnt that these courses are only for people like me who go over the lower limits ever so slightly – it is very good way to slap our wrists whilst raising road safety awareness.
Surprisingly, I found the course very enlightening. In the weeks leading up the course, I had really concentrated on keeping within the speed limit (cruise control is my best friend) and although it is painful to drive at 20mph and it feels like the car is coming to a stand-still, I was not about to get caught again. Another sign that my patience has grown significantly.
I came away from the course wanting to keep my speed down, not because of getting caught, but because of the impact it could have if I was to ignore the signs. Did you know that if a bend has the black and white chevron sign, that means the bend has history? Also, when there are reminder signs of speed cameras, these indicate that there have been accidents in the area and probably fatalities as a result. This information grabbed my attention more than the statistics of injuries or fatalities caused by road traffic accidents.
Stay safe over the festive period and beyond. Going that little bit faster will only get you there seconds sooner.
In recent times, I have woken up to the importance of, and need to, prioritise finding ways of being kind – to others and to myself. Too often in the past have I tried to force situations because I thought I was ‘right’ and that there was only one way of doing things. These days, I am learning to be more relaxed and patient, with the effect that things usually work out ok in the end – sometimes even in ways I had not expected or predicted.
I think that ‘quiet’ values, such as patience, listening and calm are often highly undervalued in today’s world of cut and thrust. It can sometimes feel as if we have to operate with bravado and ebullience to be seen as successful in life. And yet, it can takes so much more strength to pause, breathe and choose an approach which is not a knee-jerk reaction.
This is still very much work in progress for me – something actively to keep in mind, rather than a natural instinct. But isn’t that the very joy of life, to be able to observe, learn and strive for something better.
“It is people that matter – them, and their hearts”.
~ Susan Fletcher, Corrag