“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzo
Ask my boyfriend, Justin, and he will tell you I am one of the most impatient creatures roaming the earth.
I recently listened to a podcast and finished Bob Goff’s book, Everybody Always, both referencing patience. Both spoke about the power of patience and the negative impacts that impatience can have on my own life and the peoples’ lives surrounding me. Bob Goff literally carries a tin bucket around to remind himself to fill it with patience. It is a metaphor to fill his mind and live his life more patiently.
Impressive. Impactful. Made me do some serious thinking about my own issues with impatience.
There are times I have zero chill and need a brown paper bag to keep me breathing because of a self-induced panic attack.
I have migraines, restless nights, sour moods, and eat food past the point of feeling full…all because of the residual feelings resulting from my own impatience.
I grew up with my parents always telling me, “Ashley, be patient” or “Patience is a virtue, and you lack it.”
My parents said this because I have always been a doer and extremely self-motivated. I strongly dislike waiting on other people. If I can do it myself, then you bet I have already gotten up and done it. I do not procrastinate and I am rarely ever late…and if I am ever late, it is because of someone else’s poor time management.
I truly believe being self-motivated, prompt, and efficient are some of my strongest qualities.
Until these qualities result in me rushing, stressing, and worrying my life away.
Let me explain.
At 27, I am taking on one of my most difficult challenges, which is cultivating patience into every hour, every minute, and every second of each day.
I admitted in my last blog that I really do not know what my purpose is or what skills I should be honing in on and using to live a more fulfilled life (see, these are the thoughts causing me to lose sleep).
Right now, I am committing to less rushing and impatience and more living in the moment. It is okay not to know all the exact details of my future right now. It is also okay to be five minutes late versus 20 minutes early…to my own set time for being at the grocery store…
Honestly, my impatience is only hurting me and keeping me further away from finding my purpose. The irony is that my impatience is prolonging the process of discovering purpose…because the impatience causes negative emotions, and these negative emotions clutter and bury all the good things inside of me. Turns out, the good thoughts, emotions, words, and actions are what will lead (and are currently leading) me to my bigger purpose.
The only way to tap into my purpose and true passions is to be my best, most loved, and truest self.
Although I may doubt it, I know my purpose already exists…but it has yet to be discovered.
Living a rushed and impatient life only dampens and clutters my mind and emotions and removes me from the present. Right here, right now is a gift. Right here and now, I could be doing something that leads me closer to that purpose.
Why am I rushing tomorrow when today is the only guarantee? Not to mention, being impatient means I am truly wasting today. It is kinda like saying to God, “OKAY, enough of today…let’s move on to five years (or five minutes) from now when I have x, do y, and need z.”
If I am rushing the days away, I am likely overlooking God’s little gifts, opportunities, and nuggets of knowledge that He is putting right in front of my face.
I have no idea how to combat my impatience, but that is why I am reading books and learning how to live and be my truest self. Impatience was not included with my entry into the world; somewhere along the way, my subconscious became conditioned to this belief.
I believed being impatient was just a part of me…sewn into my DNA to always be listed as one of my characteristics. But it certainly is not. That belief does not have to be true…if I say and decide it is not true.
My babers, Justin, along with some wise words I have read in books and heard on podcasts have all reminded me…all within 48 hours of each other…that I do NOT have to live an impatient life. I do not have to be stressed, worried, or rushed. Impatience does not have to be a part of me.
In their wise words, I was reminded of the different versions of me:
- The impatient version is flustered and moody and talks too much about doughnuts and other pastries.
- The patient version is silly, laid back, and pleasant. However, still talks about doughnuts and other pastries.
The main difference in my patient self and impatient self is that one puts her energy, belief, trust, and faith in God while the other gal is too busy trying to micromanage and control her future.
I am working, praying, and learning every day…rewriting the script of my subconscious…to become a more patient, present, and positive human that is simply just being, loving, and serving others.