Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Be Patient

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with more unasked-for advice. If you're getting tired of this, have no fear: tonight I'm rounding out a sort of trilogy comprising the last three posts. Then I believe I'll be done pontificating for a bit. Here, then, is the capstone post.

You can do something well and still be unhappy.

You can know what you want, and yet find that it seems impossibly far from your grasp.

So the closing key to self-fulfillment must be patience.

It's said that patience is a virtue, but I would argue that it is something else entirely. To me, a virtue is that which in and of itself brings good: honesty, loyalty, generosity, empathy and so on. Because these things bring good, they also render us vulnerable to those who do not care about good. When honest, we put ourselves at risk of being misled or overshadowed by the dishonest. When loyal, we put ourselves at risk of betrayal from those who are disloyal. When generous we may be taken advantage of by the greedy, when empathic we may be abused by the egocentric.

Virtues, then, are noble and ambitious because they aspire to make the world better at the risk of those who undertake them. They are difficult. They are challenging. We must push ourselves toward them, because they are hard -- and because they are dangerous.

Patience, in contrast, is much more of a tool. The saint is patient, but so is the snake. Patience is the condition which lets us move through the world in search of our goals, instead of feeling adrift in it without control.

Patience is openness -- the willingness to wait and see.

So if you know what you want, but have not yet found how to do it well, be patient. Practice. Study. Keep an eye out for other things that you might want, and which might perhaps suit your talents better. A path will make itself known eventually.

If you can do plenty of things well, but do not know what you want, be patient. Exercise your capabilities. Look for new experiences. Talk. Read. Listen. Think. A passion will capture you sooner or later.

And if you know what you want, and you already do it well, and success still eludes you and leaves you stuck in circumstances that block your creative efforts and stifle your inspiration ... be patient. The moments in which you have your focus, in which you do as you wish and excel in your chosen desire -- those are treasures worth waiting for. Let yourself float through the tiresome intervals in between those gilded times. Do not resist the rest of your life, but embrace it with the certainty that it will sooner or later bring you back to the thing that you wish, give you a moment here and a moment there to progress toward whatever it is that you most fancy, and sooner or later will grant you the appropriate reward for all your many efforts.

Do not strive to be patient. Be patient so that you have the comfort to strive for your dreams.

Thank you, goddess of love, for the tool of patience and the knowledge of how to wield it.

Lovingly yours,

A devotee


Strumpet said...

This one made me tear up, Devotee.

It's so true.

I can only hope that I am able to let the wisdom in this post take hold of me.

Patience...it's one of the hardest things in life.

But, yet we really have no choice to be anything but.

So, to let time pass patiently as we make or way through it, only allows us to be happier campers while it's passing and we make our way to whatever it is that is in store for us on our path.

Some days I am much better at this than others.

I really like your blog.


Devotee said...

I think as soon as I wrote that post, the universe decided to give me a whole lot to be patient about. And to be entirely honest, I haven't been all that good at following my own advice.

But I'm glad you liked it and I'm glad you commented, because it made me read it again, and that has helped.

At least a little.