Have you ever had the experience of being ready for something, but having to wait? Such experiences try your patience, don’t they?
It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, everyone deals with the pressure of expectation in every phase of living. Young people tend to be accused of being impetuous, but I have seen my fair share of adults acting without thinking, trying to force things to happen before they are ready. “Type A” people tend to prefer this approach as a rule: they “make” things happen. But in so doing they often find that bringing things to fruition before they are ripe typically diminishes your enjoyment of the fruit (aka your fulfillment in living).
“Type A” people also tend to define patience rather narrowly. They see it as a weak-kneed, passive approach to living and they see people who call themselves “patient” as pushovers. But are they?
What is patience, anyway? Is it simply as my dictionary states: “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset”? Or is there something more to it?
To my mind patience is more than resignation and even more than acceptance. It is an active state of abiding, a deliberate and persistent, conscious recognition that things will not always be as they are now. Moreover, it is the willingness to remain sufficiently still, that is, to let, as it was put, “not your heart be troubled” so that you can hear and see and therefore know when the factors of circumstance line up with the inner, or spiritual factors at work in the situation.
This sense of the fitness of things, of right timing, and of right action in relation to the right timing is developed over time. It comes more to focus in you as you relinquish your personal wants and fears – not in the sense of resignation, acquiescence, or passivity to the outer factors of circumstance – but in the sense of relaxing more deeply into the inner flowing of the spirit of love.
It is true that love always finds a way, but it only does so as there are hearts and minds that are truly yielded to it. Love needs a vehicle for its expression; it doesn’t just manifest randomly or without a form for its expression.
The greatest victim of human impatience is the spirit of love itself. Love cannot be rushed, forced or brought into manifestation by force of human imagination or will. If you deliberately make room in your heart, in the spirit of hospitality, for the seeds of love to form and grow in you, they will.
Love loves to find expression in the earth. However, love cannot violate its own rules of manifestation. As much as love loves to be made manifest, love cannot be bent by human volition. Love cannot be arbitrarily molded into shapes determined by human imagination. If you’ve ever tried to pound it into shape, you likely felt it slipping away from you.
I believe that our central purpose on earth relates to the accommodation of the spirit of love in us and the expression of love through us. Doing that requires a more mature relationship to patience than most have been willing to cultivate in themselves. It is perhaps easier to be impatient, to give one’s heart to the pressure of expectation in this way, but doing so rarely leads to fulfillment. In fact, I would argue that impatience is the leading killer of fulfillment in the world today.
In patience is the acceptance of the factors – inner and outer – as they now are, with the recognition that all things – inner and outer – change in due time. Patience relates both to an active letting go of the tendency to try to control and force things to be a certain way with an equally energetic letting go to the purposeful and strategically timed pulsations of the spirit of love.
In a sense I suppose we have to come to trust love more than we would like to or perhaps in some cases have tended to, in order to benefit more fully from the intelligent design of love. Love only leaves you if you leave it through impatience and a host of other ill attitudes that are beyond the scope of this post.
If you have felt the pulsation of love in your heart (and it is kind of unmistakeable when it is truly love), you know that there is nothing more breathtaking, more majestic, or more deeply satisfying. So it makes sense, then, to dedicate ourselves to learning to be the most gracious hosts of love in our hearts that we can be in any given moment. Nothing matters more than this.
A gracious host doesn’t rush his or her guest. A gracious host puts the needs of his or her guest ahead of his or her own. A gracious host is simply that: gracious.
Have a great day, dear readers, and thank you for everything you do in your heart and mind to make a safe and nourishing home for the spirit of love in you. Do this and you need not find love; love will find you.