“The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”
Paul Coehlo, Veronika Decides to Die
Love is not a feeling. It is not an idea that we can conjure and execute. Love is a concept, and like many known concepts, it cannot be wholly understood because it comes in various forms.
Many of us try to box love in our own little bubble. We believe that love is what we say or think it is, we give it a subjective meaning which for most of us ends up being crushed to dust once we embark on this journey called life.
So what is love?
I would like to derive the definition from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. I chose this specific scripture because it embodies the hope of what we expect love to be and yet cannot achieve.
Let me start by saying that it is impossible to achieve loving someone perfectly because as humans we falter. The daily travels of life expose us to realities that elicit unforeseeable reactions. These reactions can be measured against love to unearth our shortcomings when love is the subject of conversation.
Each one of us has some form of shortcoming. That’s what makes for complementarity and partnership.
What is patience? Whenever I think of patience, the first people that come to mind are kindergarten teachers. Although most people think kids are cute and adorable, few of us would want to spend a whole day teaching them and playing with them.
Why? Because one needs a lot of patience when it comes to dealing with children. They scream and shout. Their concentration span is limited. Most of them are a curious bunch and rules? I mean what are rules when you’re dealing with a bunch of 4 year-olds running around crying and laughing?
“Patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing. It is looking at the thorn and seeing the rose, looking at the night and seeing the day. Lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full.”
Now back to love is patient.
I think this for me has been a long time struggle. I mean, why can’t the world move at my pace? Why can’t people apologize immediately they make a mistake? Why do people take so long to get things done? Why can’t she just understand? Why won’t he just quit? Why tomorrow and not now?
These are the questions that would invade my mind. I was of course oblivious to the fact that I was impatient. I just thought I’m efficient and I was proud of it. Until one day the funniest thing happened. I was leading in a team of people and I was the leader.
We were to run a project and one of us, let’s call him Tom. Tom decides to run with the project and we gladly let him. And trust me he comes through, the first time at least. We do such a grand activity and everyone is pleased and feeling like this might actually go somewhere. We all start brainstorming and pouring out hearts into this until…….
I know you’re wondering why the ellipses. So am I. After one grand move Tom just drops the ball and never picks it up.
Now I’ll be honest, I don’t like to micromanage. I believe in letting someone explore their ideas and implement them unless they are plain off. Like when we are doing a summer theme and someone wants to bring in snow. That kind of off. And I was patient. I’d talk to Tom and ask what the problem was. No response. There was no communication. What i did was let him wallow and never stepped in to prompt or start something so that he can join and assist.
Patience is a very tricky virtue. It requires wisdom of a different kind. The kind that informs when to give space and when to accept it simply won’t happen. That’s how we are with those in our lives. They do things. They upset us. Sometimes we tell them. Sometimes they apologize and sometimes they go back to doing that which upsets us.
It is okay to have hope in someone. To give someone the benefit of a doubt. However, you cannot continue to do that when it is to your detriment. And by detriment i don’t mean that you’re late to class, I mean when you have to do that which is wrong like lying or cheating or simply having to pretend to be someone you aren’t.
One thing is certain, patience is trying. All your buttons will be pressed and there are days you will stand in front of a mirror and ask yourself why you keep doing this. But let me ask you a couple of questions?
If your mum wasn’t patient with you, do you think you would be where you are? If your brother didn’t put up with your annoying habits and your silly mistakes would you still have a sibling? I know family has no choice but to accept you, but that is what love is all about. Accepting that the person you are with is who they are and that they will do things that will get on your nerves. All you need is a little patience.
Patience to not get worked up all they time they mess up, patience to know when you should speak up and communicate your feelings. Although something interesting happens when you pick up a little patience, you kinda sorta become more forgiving. Love keeps no record of wrongs, right?
| Poems & Stories |
This is my first time to write something less emotional, I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to give your comments and criticisms.