Losing Our Patience: What Do We Really Lose?
Impatience is related to ‘desiring something’ and ‘not taking the time’.
Through feelings of impatience, we wish to immediately align a situation with a desire within us or with something we aim to change. When we lose our patience, we experience a situation that displeases us, one that ought to be different. We attribute the emergence of this negative feeling to a situation we deem incorrect, or how someone behaves or acts. It isn’t in accordance with our wishes, so it should change.
When we lose our patience, we lose our inner compass and autonomy. It’s a loss of inner peace and dignity by allowing an inner mechanism that dictates how things should be. This mechanism believes it has this right.
We are responsible for our behavior in situations that elicit resistance. This feeling of resistance stems from an unaware private desire about how the situation should be. Because this situation feels undesired (in unconsciousness), the ego gets an opportunity to assert its will. Justifications often sound plausible in our regular interactions, but they aren’t. It’s essentially resistance against a situation as it is—a situation that, at that moment, cannot be otherwise. Only in consciousness can we shed this resistance, observing it as it arises.
Indignant or Dignified
Those who are indignant have stripped themselves of dignity. Thus, it is worth pondering if this is sensible. “Patience is a virtue,” as the saying goes, especially because maintaining patience instantly affects our inner state. It cleanses our inner self. Patience sheds light on our desires and the haste we feel. This offers a chance to recognize and transform the uncomfortable feeling that impatience brings into a more aware state of observation and feeling—a state of self-remembrance. In this state, our inner Observer perceives the feeling of impatience and allows it to dissolve without judgment.
Our discerning observation (Buddhi)—the magnificent tool that can also distinguish all ego-personalities—acknowledges the situation ‘as it is’ and our will that wants to reshape it. Our independent conscious Self is True and, hence, dignified. This self doesn’t allow itself to be disdained.
In unconsciousness, where our discerning observation doesn’t function well, we can’t accurately perceive what’s true or right, and we may lose our genuine worth and, therefore, our dignity. The little self that doesn’t get what it wants can exist impatiently without moderation.
Root Cause: Something Old
By maintaining patience, we’re internally resolving something. It takes a small effort to switch to a conscious state, instantly creating relaxation. In doing so, we prevent indignation and unworthy actions by not necessarily controlling but relaxing the feelings of impatience in alignment with what we truly know. We can soothe them, much like a restless horse. This allows us to recognize the genuine cause of impatience, which often differs from the immediate trigger. This is usually an old, conditioned part of us. Recognizing the cause gives us another chance to let go.
Impatience and Urgency
In some situations, legitimate reasons might push us to act swiftly. We then make a clear, conscious assessment that necessitates immediate and possibly even instant action. Naturally, this differs from resisting a situation as it is. It’s perceiving a situation that needs immediate adjustment for cogent reasons. This takes place with a completely different mindset, a high inner quality. We then act with dignity according to what the situation demands, and that might be rapid if needed. It might appear to others as impatience, but it unfolds with relative inner calm and significant determination.
Simple example: A barbecue needs time to reach the right heat (or our food burns), and we must swiftly and effectively extinguish an unwanted blaze (or our food burns).