I have been impatient most of my life.
My mom jokes that she knew I was impatient from birth, given that I was born three weeks early.
Impatience can mean a lot of things to different people. I often see impatience with my clients come in the form of either impatience of self in the form of "I know better but I keep falling into the same pattern..." Or impatience of life as in "I am doing everything why aren't I getting the result yet?"
When I was younger and someone called me impatient, I took it as a compliment. To me, it meant I was passionate. I mean, what's wrong with knowing what you want and wanting it NOW?
As I grew older and wiser, I shifted gears and started to justify my impatience as ambition.
We have such a deep belief that patience will lull us into inaction when we want be changing things that we make ourselves believe that impatience is a good thing.
Impatience can seem like the fire that can hasten that change we've been waiting for.
However, as I started realizing the very real repercussions of my impatience including stress, frustration, anxiety, panic attacks, binge episodes, etc etc I knew that impatience was no longer the glorified beacon of light I had once thought it was.
I had to develop a new relationship with impatience.
A few months ago, as I was writing out some big epic shit I want to manifest in my life in the coming years, I started feeling this all too familiar panicky urgency within me. This sense of "why isn't it happening faster? I just want it NOW!"
As I sat with this feeling, a small voice whispered, "Why don't you think getting all these things is possible for you?"
And that's when it hit me.
Impatience isn't just a lack of patience... impatience is fear.
A Course in Miracles states that "those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety."
Perhaps, after all this time, we have misunderstood true patience. Normally, we think of patience as merely an absence, an absence of complaint or anger.
But what if it was more than that? What if true patience is a presence, a presence of trust and a presence of love?
And since the opposite of love is fear that must mean the opposite of the presence of patience, is the fear and lack of impatience.
The reason why this presence of patience is greater than the call for impatience is because while I agree that impatience can spur us into action, the impetus dies almost immediately when you don't get fast results... while the practice is patience teaches us to focus on the long term gain.
It's easy to abandon the work that may mean so much to you when it's driven by impatience because when you come from a place scarcity and fear, you are adding money to the piggie bank titled, "unworthy."
Impatience is not really a call for what you want, but rather an indication that you don't believe you are worthy of what you want.
So next time you find yourself in the anxious state of wanting something so bad that you cannot contain the frustration of not having it now... ask yourself the same question, "Why don't you think this is possible for you?" Look at the fear fiercely in the eyes. Don't run away from the truth of what you may uncover. This is when the healing begins.
When we look at why we feel unworthy, we start to trust in who we are... and like magic, we start feeling worthy. And then without force, without will, without anxiety, patience seeps into our bones and we realize just how perfect the timing of life truly is.
It is only then that we get what we wanted in the first place. As the Course says, "Now you must learn that only infinite patience produces immediate effects."
And so it is.