by John Ashbrook
There is no question that patience plays an important role in the formation of a spiritual life. However, society demands instant gratification and the concept of patience implies waiting for something that you want. The fact is, that in almost all cases, instant gratification yields results that are short lived. This is mainly because no real effort is required to manifest these mainly superficial sound bites of fulfillment. Obviously, a patient, steady effort applied over time toward a meaningful goal will manifest a far more fulfilling result because the appreciation factor is proportional to the work accomplished. This is bound to produce a greater, longer lasting satisfaction.
Patience is a prime component of creation. Nothing can be created without a balance of two forces, the masculine and the feminine. The masculine principle in creation is an outward moment, you make something happen. The feminine principle in creation is an inward movement, you trust something will happen. The essence of patience is trust, a relaxing of outward force. When you are trying to create anything in your life the quality of the results will always be dependent on the balance of these two principles of creation, the outward thrust (masculine) and the inner relaxation (feminine). The inner relaxing or trust is the mark of patience. Patience is a knowing, a deep certainty, that when the time is right according to the laws of an intelligent universe the result of this balance between force and trust will manifest creation.
So, where does patience come from, how does one cultivate it? Patience is born of healthy self-esteem, discipline, and commitment. It is the product of these of these critical elements of spiritual maturity. These are the building blocks of spiritual development and without them the immaturity of insistence will rule the soul and the life, making trust and patience if not impossible to achieve. The fact is that impatience marked by a forcing attitude toward life will always cause the immature, fearful lower self to pull back, hunker down and resist movement, change and growth. Obviously, without progress the life is mediocre and unfulfilling. Impatience creates a tightness in the soul that not only blocks personal spiritual growth, but also the benevolent forces of the higher realms of the spirit world. Influences that would otherwise aid and guide you on your spiritual path. Patience is a tool that allows you to tune into these benevolent influences, intuitively channel the higher awareness of these lofty realms.
So, where does impatience come from? What are the attitudes of living that prevent the cultivation of patience and hasten the development of mistrust and impatience? A lack of patience is caused by the absence of self-love, stemming from the suppression of self-expression and creativity. These are natural, critical movements of a healthy spirit, and if they are held in check, then anger results. This anger causes guilt and the self-imposed punishment of an undeserving attitude. Connected to this is the shame of one’s own beauty, which always results from harsh self-judgement or criticism. These unhealthy but all-too-human characteristics are present in varying degrees in everyone, according to their level of spiritual development. No one living on earth is exempt. If these undesirable aspects were not present to one degree or another you would not incarnate on the material plane. Everyone is here to do the spiritual work that ultimately purifies and frees the divine spirit. Earth is the spiritual school where we learn to love, and patience is so much a part of learning to love.
Impatience also results when someone chooses to live in the extremes. Some examples of this would be, taking on too much responsibility for others and ignoring the responsibility you have to yourself, too much or too little discipline, always giving by resisting receiving, too organized or too scattered, obsessive control, perfectionism, constantly seeking approval. None of these extreme attitudes will foster patience because they deny the balancing force of the opposite. Patience will always exist where there is moderation and balanced living.
Where there is prevalent impatience there must be an unhappiness, of unfulfillment in life. The journey toward spiritual patience always leads to the discovery, pursuit and realization of greater, more satisfying priorities in one’s life. This is so because the world is of a patient, still, loving heart knows no limits. It is open to the infinite wonders of an endless universe. Remember, patience is not something that you do, it is something you become. To paraphrase and old saying, “Be patient and all good things will come.”