Patience: Love's Valentine


Here are some recipes for impatience:

You're meeting a close friend for dinner. You were too busy all day to eat lunch, and you're really hungry. Scanning the menu with speed and efficiency, you make your selection. Meanwhile, your friend studies the menu as if it held the secrets of the universes, summons the waitperson several times to ask questions, then overwhelmed with information, slumps into a semi coma, trying to make a decision, while you try not to explode.

Your beloved is an Internet novice, and you've made the huge mistake of promising to teach him how to use email. Whatever glue people have in their minds for remembering things seems to have drained out of his head and stuck to his fingers. To make matters worse, he seems to think that if he clicks on "Get Mail," something is going to explode. You're on the verge of wrapping the cord to the mouse around his neck.

Your son hates doing homework, but not as much, you are beginning to think, as you hate helping him. If it weren't against the rules, you'd do it yourself to spare yourself the agony of watching him.

And let's not forget the customer ahead of you who counts out payments in pennies, recorded messages that begin "Please listen carefully, as our menu options have changed," and people who tell stories with so many detours you forget how the tale began.

Faster Than the Speed of Light

It's hard to resist impatience in a fast paced world where time appears to have become a vanishing commodity, too precious for us to waste even a few seconds of it. Though the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare tells us slow and steady wins the race, our money is on the Hare.

What we haven't always calculated is the cost of winning.

The Chemistry of Love

I've learned that love blends well with joy, ecstasy, contentment, satisfaction, and other positive emotions. It doesn't blend at all with anger, judgment, impatience and other negative emotions.

In vibrational terms, the reason for this is simple. Positive emotions are expansive; they open the channels through which love, the primary energy, flows. Negative emotions constrict; they narrow, clog, and close these channels.

When you're feeling impatient, you're not feeling loving. To some of you, this will seem obvious, but it took me a long time to make the connection. My biggest mistake was to believe that while I was being angry or impatient, I could put love on the side and restore it to center stage once I'd finished venting.

I won't say that can't happen, but it takes great deliberation and focus, and if I had it that much together, I wouldn't be getting impatient in the first place. It's far more likely for negative emotions to dig a behavioral groove.

The Cycle of Love Lost

Say, for example, you come home, tired and irritable, from work to discover your mate has a number of problems to share with you. When you have a problem you solve it. You don't ask for help, and you don't see why (s)he can't take the initiative to figure out things for him/herself. That's fair, isn't it?

Unfortunately, when you say this, your mate feels put down, attacked, and a host of other negative emotions. You might manage to make up without inflicting scars on each other, but you may also go down in flames or suffer a deep chill in your relationship. If (s)he counterattacks, you may feel wounded and betrayed that someone who claims to love you could do this. If this is love, who needs it?

Vibrationally, you may shut down. You unconsciously close off or constrict your connection to divine source, then wonder why no one loves you. Cut off from love, you find more reasons to be impatient and judgmental, and the groove deepens.

I've described above a large incident in a primary relationship, but small incidents add up, too. Every time we become irritated by instances of inefficiency, every time we fail to smile at and thank a bank teller, service person, or any of the countless incompetents who enter our lives, we lose an opportunity to practice love.

Divine Messenger on the Checkout Line

How can we step out of this cycle? I don't think it's a matter of suppressing impatience. Any suppressed emotion only builds up inside until it explodes, and in general, trying not to feel only leads to all sorts of difficulties, including becoming disconnected to your guiding intuition. Negative emotions tell you when you're out of balance, thus providing the opportunity to restore it.

Ram Dass (author of Be Here Now, Grist for the Mill, and other valuable books about spirituality) tells a story that illustrates this. He speaks of waiting on a grocery checkout line and becoming very impatient with the woman ahead of him who was checking out.

First, she had a huge amount of groceries. Second, she searched for what seemed like hours in her cavernous purse for her check book. Third, she took a long time writing out the check, and fourth, she filled out all the information on the check stub before handing the check to the clerk.

Ram Dass found himself spiraling downward into annoyance, judgment, and anger as he meditated at length on the woman's total lack of consideration. In the midst of his reverie an inner alarm rang. He realized this woman was (in his words) God in drag, coming to catch him being very unspiritual and extremely unloving.

Angels On Board

How would your life look if you viewed all the annoying people who make you impatient as spiritual messengers, if you could see them as generously offering you the opportunity to restore wholeness and love to your life?

I questioned my own ability to achieve that level of appreciation. Then I realized I was tryingÑand failingÑto envision myself as instantly transformed.

So I took the more modest approach of one incident at a time. The next time I made a phone call rich with potential for impatience, I was about to dive into the usual seething pool of impatience, but pulled myself up with the words, "Angels on board." I decided the person to whom I'd speak was going to be very helpful, and she was, far beyond my expectations.

The next day I had to go to the Social Security office, an even better place to road test new attitudes of patience. Although I found it a more challenging environment, I succeeded in maintaining my patience and was amazed to find myself in and out of there, my goal accomplished, in just under ten minutes.

Patience Starts at Home

I have often read, and sometimes remember, that how we feel about others' shortcomings is always an indication of how we feel about our own. When I applied that idea to patience, I realized I got more impatient with myself than with anyone else. Oh, the countless stupid things I do. Why can't I figure out things that should be easy? Why don't I remember where I put things?

For me, learning patience indeed began at home. I realized what great teachers, physical and nonphysical, tell usÑthat the only perfect beings are those who no longer dwell in physical existence. While we are physical, we will always be growing, learning, each at our own unique pace.

The more I learn to allow my imperfections, the easier it was to allow those of others. The more I forgive my mistakes, the easier it is to view others in the clear light of acceptance, an acceptance which, if nurtured, may develop into the radiance of unconditional love.

Patient Helpers

Instead of describing a number of crystals and essences, I am focusing on two vibrational helpers strongly associated with patience.


This deep pink stone with black streaks represents patience. While tiger's eye stands for the kind of patience connected with knowing when and how to take the steps that help to manifest one's dreams associated with tiger's eye, rhodonite is associated with how we relate to others.

It is a patience that allows others to be however they are without judging them. It means not shooting off hostile vibrations to a slow teller or cashier, staying calm when faced with a barrage of questions from a curious child, understanding that your mate loves you even if (s)he forgot to take the garbage out.

Impatiens (Bach Flower Remedy)

People usually laugh when they hear the name of the flower essence for impatience, and it is possible that Dr. Bach, who usually began his searches with an emotion in mind, was attracted to the Impatiens flower for its name. Whatever the connection, this is the premier remedy for impatience.

Impatient people are often quick to learn, and the use of Impatiens won't blunt this gift. If anything, they become able to turn their talents to the greater good, patience allowing them to find original ways to explain concepts and procedures to others in ways that communicate.

Beyond the Rainbow
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