Waiting well requires patience. I believe that patience is in short supply in our world right now. This lack of patience- impatience- is festering and will be the ruination of our nation, our families and our lives if we don’t find a way to deal with it.
As I told you in October, I want to devote the month of November to the idea of waiting. We are all waiting on something, and how we wait means everything to our mental, spiritual and physical health.
A couple of Sundays ago I was watching CBS Sunday Morning, and this segment on waiting came on.
Waiting well requires patience
Wow! Perfect timing for my thoughts on waiting. So this first post is going to be on the repercussions of not waiting well.
Impatience- Definition: Merriam Webster— the quality of not wanting to put up with or wait for something or someone : lack of patience
Patience has never been one of my virtues. Just ask my kids! I usually want things yesterday, and am pretty vocal about my opinions on things. I grow weary of waiting. I have learned that I’m not alone, and need to know how to control my impatience.
I heard from many of you. Thanks for sharing with me what you are waiting on. Here are a few:
Waiting on healing
Waiting to be happy again.
Waiting on God to remove a certain temptation from me.
Waiting for my kids to come back to the faith they were raised with.
Waiting for the election to be over.
Waiting for COVID-19 to not rule our world any more.
Waiting to be free from the desire to drink alcohol.
The list goes on and on. We can all relate to this list. My biggest waiting period came the year after my first husband passed away. I was waiting for the feeling of normalcy to return ( I knew that my old normal was gone). I just wanted to feel normal again. I was also in a terrible waiting room of needing the terrible grief to subside. There was a lot of waiting that first year and beyond.
I waited 6 months to have a day without breaking down and crying. I will never forget that day! But, hallelujah, that day did come.
What happens when we don’t wait well?
As the above video says, ” the opposite of patience isn’t impatience. The opposite of patience is anxious, ill, injured, addicted, lonely and dead.”
That is a sobering quote, but it is true. How we handle our waiting periods of life directly affects our life.
It is interesting that our default is impatience. Our go to is impatience. We have to will patience in our lives. I guess that makes me feel a little better about myself.
“Patience” is really the shadow term, signifying a lack of impatience. The patient person simply wasn’t triggered to impatience when others normally would have been, or she found a way to overcome the impatience that did arise.
Somewhere along the way, we got these states backwards: Impatience should be seen as primary, and patience should be thought of as…well, “im-impatience.” From Psychology Today.
The bottom line is that impatience is dangerous. It’s bad for our mental, spiritual, and physical health.
First, impatience complicates everything. I reeks havoc in relationships. It causes you to yell at your kids. It doesn’t change the reality of the situation. It simply makes everything worse.
Second, impatience causes you to not be in the moment. How can you “be present” when you are thinking about the past or the future. If you are losing your cool because you are stuck in traffic, you are really thinking of the consequences of you being late. You aren’t living in the moment because your mind is set on the future. (Believe me, I’ve lived out this scenario many times.)
Third, impatience causes you to make rash decisions. For me, impatience is really about fear. What is going to happen because of my current situation, and how am I going to deal with it in a hurry to get past it. Those are not good combos!! No good decisions are made in fear.
Tragedy Happens- Am I Ready– is a past post from Now Choose Life.
Kristin Allen says
This is a great timeless topic. I remember waiting to meet Mark. I was 29 and back at college fir my Masters Degree. I knew he was coming – I could feel it. But I was miserable with waiting. And I told myself that whether I chose to be happy or miserable, I was going to wait the same amount of time so I may as well be happy. I find the best way to stop being impatient is to get busy on what is right in front of you. Everything else will fall in place in due time but I’m not twiddling my thumbs until then.
Love this, Kristen!! Yes- the time of waiting is the same! I may steal that idea from you in another post!!