Patience is a Virtue
Patience has never come easily to me. When I was younger, I used to work in a kindergarten and I had a colleague who had just gotten engaged. One day she brought in her beautiful ruby ring to show us (we weren’t allowed to wear jewellery at work) and I remember feeling really frustrated. Obviously, on one hand, I was really happy for her, but on the other hand I’d been told only a few days prior that if I ever found an Italian man who’d commit before the age of 35 he was a gift from God and I’d best snatch him up and hold onto him. Getting married and settling down wasn’t a goal of mine, and I wasn’t obsessed with being in a relationship, but I definitely wanted to meet someone and I suppose I felt ready to be in a relationship.
I remember this colleague of mine saying ‘all good things come to those who wait’. We were standing in the staff area and I remember thinking ‘But I hate waiting!’
My mom often used to encourage us with the verse that talks about hard times leading to perseverance, perseverance to character and character to hope. And we all used to remind ourselves of that when things were tough or even when we just felt like we were waiting and nothing was happening.
Recently, there have been times where I feel like I’m waiting for things to happen, but I feel stuck. Sometimes it’s with silly things, like not seeing the results of exercise or other times it’s bigger things; career or relationship related.
There are two things that help me through the ‘dead patches’ where I’m working away but nothing seems to be shifting.
The first I already mentioned about perseverance and character. It’s really frustrating and annoying when you’re going through it, like me standing in the changing room at work while my colleague told me I just needed to be patient, but it is true. Being patient and persevering through the tough patches eventually brings about change. Which leads me to my second point.
Sowing and reaping. This is something Marco reminds me of often. It’s a law of nature that if you sow, you’ll reap. It’s just the way things work. So if you’re sowing and sowing into a job, but there are no results, don’t give up! Or if there’s a tough relationship in your life that you’re working on but isn’t changing, persevere! Not only will it produce character in you, but you’re guaranteed to see results in the long term. They may not be the results you’d like or you’d hoped for, but you’ll more than likely be pleasantly surprised. This can really be applied to any area of life. Don’t get tired of doing good, of sowing positivity, kindness, and love into others, don’t stop working hard and aiming for your goals.
I never thought I’d end up doing my degree in a small college in the south of Ireland, for example. When I was struggling in Berlin, and things weren’t really working out, I couldn’t see the way out. But I persevered through that time, which helped me to grow stronger and more self-motivated as a person (character), and as a result, I had hope for the future. Of course, it’s a lot easier in hindsight, but I’m glad I never gave up.
When things, even now, seem to be slow, or not moving at all, I try to remind myself of these things. It’s hard to be patient and I often feel like I’m stuck in my 18 year-old self, annoyed at having to wait. But my colleague was certainly right: patience does reap good rewards, and the best things in life are certainly worth waiting for!