Patience: Are you patient?

Have you ever been told to be patient? Or not to be upset or angry? To calm down? What is patience anyway? I’ve never thought of myself as a patient person. But if I have to define patience, then, for me, patience is not the absence of anger; it’s the ability to control our fury.

Me at a beach in Malang, Indonesia.

Again, I have never been a ‘patient’ person. Many things get on my nerves quite quickly. I get upset very easily. It also drove me mad when people told me “not to get upset” with things that simply did not upset them. I thought, “Of course it’s easy for them because they didn’t even need to try (to control their wrath since it wasn’t there at the first place)”. I used to use this comparison between water and benzene. Water boils at 100°C, while for benzene it only takes 80.1°C to boil (sorry, America. I don’t do Fahrenheit! 🙈✌). I believe(d) that some people are born water, some people are born benzene; it’s in their blood/gene. It’s not a special thing when water people do not boil or get upset at 80.1°C because it is not their boiling point. And it can be upsetting for, and in fact fuels, benzene people when water people tell them not to boil at that temperature because it is their ‘nature’ to boil at that very temperature. And I always think that I am this benzene person, and it’s kinda unfair that I have to make extra efforts to slow down the boiling process or to not boil at such temperatures while water people do not have to do such things. Do you get what I mean? I’ll give you another illustration. For instance, you have an appointment, your friend is super late. You’re furious because you missed the bus and stuff due to waiting for him or her, but you try your best not to yell or say harsh words to him or her; you’re restraining your fury. But for some people, facing the same situation might not get them to be upset at the very first place because it simply does not matter or affect them. They are okay with their friend’s being late and them missing the bus. They do not need to try to be okay because they are okay with that. You, on the contrary, are not okay, but trying to be okay. See the difference?

Me at Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia.

Well, yeah, controlling our anger is not easy. It is hard but not impossible. I am not sure if it has to do with age and the fact that I am getting old(er), but I realize that patience takes practice. A lot of it. Now I am still upset at many things and as quickly. But I think I am getting better at getting it under control. Not that I am a patient person now, I am just more ‘patient’ than I used to be. Sometimes I have to pretend and fake it, too. Not that I am being hypocritical, but because I know that, often, I feel guilty after taking out my anger on people especially those who have nothing to do with the cause of it. I know I am just feeding my ego, and the pain of such guilt and regrets is worse than the pain of merely being upset. And sometimes we are upset because of the perceived consequences of an event we are upset with. Like, in the previous example, you are mad at your friend’s being late and your missing the bus because you’re worried that you’ll be late to the meeting and you won’t like it. If you get mad and yell at him/her, say hurtful things, but then you find out that the meeting is postponed so you are not late, then you’d feel bad for saying those harsh words, but you can’t really take them back because we cannot turn back the time. See? But if you control yourself, you’ll save yourself from such ordeal 🙂

Hence, if u think you are not a patient person; it’s ok, you might be a benzene person like me. Just remember that even though it is difficult and takes more efforts, it is not impossible to get it under control. It takes practice. It takes time. And you can always practice and take your time. Hope you get there 🙂 *because, believe me, it’s much more peaceful ^^

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