Listener: What is the meaning of the word patience? What does the sayin “didn’t have enough patience mean? When the patience ends, then when? Maybe we can grow patience? Where can we find it?
Nijole G. Wolmer: This is a peculiarly simple question, but I like such very simple ones, though somebody would think it is silly or primitive. Sometimes we cannot solve mysteries of life only because we do not allow ourselves, do not dare to look straight and simply and ask ourselves: “What is this?”
What does unite all situations in which we need patience? I think that such are situations where some part is uncomfortable and irritates us, but we have to deal with this irritating and uncomfortable part for some bigger aim. And we, certainly, will have more patience if we realize that bigger aim – then the discomfort will not be so unpleasant or we will simply endure it for a long period of time.
What could be an example? For instance, pregnancy requires a lot of patience. A child is growing, weight is increasing and it is obvious that you will need patience to deliver the child. But if a mother clearly sees it: “I’m carrying a child, I’m waiting for it and I love it very much”, then she will easier bear those physiological difficulties, and an understanding that this cannot be avoided and that this is a long lasting physiological obstacle and that it is not possible to feel very easy in such situation will help her gain patience. If we have a small child, we need a lot of patience, because it is clear that he/she will be loud and run around. We feel that we need to reject some interest, comfort, peace, strength, energy or money for something bigger. In this case, we do this for a bigger cycle: in order to raise a child. We will wait until he/she is bigger and will someday help us.
Sometimes patience in a situation, where it has been for a long time, is suddenly gone. For instance, a person, who is usually patient, suddenly starts react to words of a boss or such difficulties, which were quite easily taken earlier, in a totally impatient and intolerant way. One can ask: “Where’s my patience gone? What has happened, I used to take it so easily before?” You should ask yourself why the stimuli or motivation to withstand that discomfort, that was easier before, is no longer here. That means that you have stopped believing in the situation and that there is something more for what it should be worth to adjust to these circumstances, reconcile yourself to them and keep your patience. Maybe the belief that it is worth doing has unconsciously gone.
In such case you should analyze the situation and ask a very simple question: “Do I need this at all?” No matter that the mind can think: “I need this”, but if in the subconsciousness there comes a feeling that you do not need this, then nothing will come out of it. Certainly, patience is disappearing and melting together with this. And visa versa, if we, nevertheless, realize that this cannot be avoided, we will employ patience. Well, for example, when we learn some language, at first it is very difficult for us and we need a lot of patience to learn it. We learn a word, two words or three but we still cannot compose sentences and communicate. Then we need patience. But we know that in future this will help us to communicate – this is where the patience comes from. It is similar in other processes too: if you know that you cannot avoid a situation and that it will not be different, that you simply need patience, direct your mind towards the aim, clearly see it – then you will have more patience.
Well, we can also speak about such moments when a lack of patience is resulted by karma of past events either in this live or in past ones. Then a person, usually patient, can suddenly notice inside a totally inadequate, irritable and impatient reaction to some life situation.
Thus, I think that a situation where patience is needed can be described as a situation which has a long term obstacle which we do realize or not. If we realize that this is a long term and inevitable obstacle, which we tolerate for something greater, then we calmer experience that obstacle, little by little getting over it and approaching that greater aim.
There are people who can overcome only short-lived, momentuous obstacles but if it lasts a little longer, they get nervous and irritated and, in the end, they want to end the process. Such people can be described as impatient. What kind of piece of advice can be given to them? That long-term, inescapable obstacle in the mind can be divided into small short lasting obstacles, that is, the process in the consciousness can be split by showing oneself clearly: “Here there is some segment where I have reached a certain result”. You need to highlight the result, particularly that positive side and strengthen your achievements, even you can celebrate that stage and congratulate yourself so that this long process where you need long lasting patience would not be so gloomy.
Another matter is when you are, for some reason, extremely impatient with one or a few people or in some situation. Then I would think that karma causes that and in this situation the uncomfortable moment exceeds the rest. It can be said that this situation is simply injured in karma and we need many more resources to overcome it. Then we should not speak about patience or impatiece of a person but about karmicly irritating situation and patience should come in a different way here. And sometimes you should not even stress such situation, leave it and develop other qualities of your life.
How can this be? For example, a calm person, who is absolutely patient and moderate, is not adequate in his/her reaction when somebody holds a knife. When somebody cooks in a kitchen and starts chopping vegetables with a sharp knife, another person, who watches the process of chopping, suddenly bursts out: “Won’t you put this knife down? How long can you chop these vegetables? Why do we need this dinner at all and why did we invite these guests? Isn’t this a familiar situation when a person bursts out, seeming totally inadequate: that person wanted guests, he/she needed this dinner and these vegetables, but what happened? This rage and irritability was activated by the sight of a knife. This can often be so if a person had suffered from a knife in this or in past lives. Then a person approaching such instrument can have a sense of anxiety. And would we advise such person to learn to get used to the sight of a knife? Absolutely no. This would not heal such person, but, on the contrary, could cause neurosis.
In such case, one of the variants is to directly go out to that situation when it happened but here you already need a specialist who could lead to such memory. Other ways to heal this inside of a person and purify this can simply be accumulation of resources of peace, for instance with the help of conscious breathing: “I inhale the world’s harmony and peace and the like“. When we accumulate general resources of calm and harmonious energy, they help us to overcome any negative karmic imprints of the past, no matter what they are. This is so because of a more benevolent relation with the world and reality.
Your attitude towards the reality is either benevolent or malevolent. How much is it benevolent? And what do you think is the attitude of the world towards you? How much is the word benevolent or malevolent regarding you? This can be a very distorted sight, and a person‘s success and sometimes patience depend very much on this.
One more variant is to simply stay away from situations where you are very much irritated by some certain thing and you know this. Because if we are not spiritual practitioners, if we do not have these skills to manage emotions and reactions, then some very heavy and painful things of the past can get activated and a person can really wake up something very unexpected in himself/herself – this can sometimes be even a monster. I think that in most dramatic cases this often happens: situations wake up through the memory, resonanses with some totally different circumstances of a person’s life, where there was a terrible drama and pain, and then a person transfers this to this life unnoticed without sudden orientation how this happened. Results are sometimes regrettable. These are moments when a person very acutely encounters his/her behaviour which is inadequate and karmicly conditioned. In such case, we should not speak about patience but about the ability to control oneself, not resonating energies and vibrations of the past emotionally, which today can make us act inadequately.
Well, this is a broad topic, I speak about such things in my seminars, we learn how to recognize an inadequate behaviour, when a person acts from the present time while actions are caused by the past but the person does not have a slightest idea of it. For how often our sexuality is conditioned by karma of the past and covered with plenty of fears and how often we in different situations: sex and love, profession and career react not from today but we do not realize that this reaction appeared in the past and that we react not from reactions of the presence but of the past but cannot change, transform this.