Patience with Life is a key ingredient for inner peace.
We met a gentleman yesterday who has made a significant career shift. He’s moved out of Information Technology to pursue Art. He wanted a dispassionate, outside-in perspective on how he was doing ‘on the path’. We shared with him what we – Vaani and I – felt. I added one more point as we saw him off: “Don’t be in a hurry. Life happens in its own way, in its own time.”
I reflected on what I had to say for a long, long while after I had said it. Just 20 years ago, I was sounding so different – I was a champion of raw aggression and I believed that everything – and everyone – must be bulldozed if you must want your way. Well, there’s nothing wrong with that thinking or theory. To be sure, it works; for much of my youth it worked! But there will be times, as I have discovered in the past decade or so, when all your kicking, all your bulldozing, all your raving, ranting and your wanting, doesn’t yield results. Life’s doors don’t always open when you want them to – and definitely not the way you want them or expect them to open.
Yet, the magic and beauty of Life is that everything happens in its own time, at its own pace. And sometimes some things that you want may well not happen – however hard you try – because they are not meant to be!
Osho, the Master, defines patience as “the fragrance of trust”. Which is, if something is not happening when you want it to happen, the way you want it to happen, trust the process of Life. Just because you are going through self-doubt and are feeling hopeless over whatever you want to achieve, it doesn’t mean that Life is not at work. “Nothing’s working out” is a common lament you will hear coming from within you in such times. Ignore that sentiment. Let it arise and in due course it will fade away. You focus on trying the doors. The key is to keep at the doors without feeling frustrated, without giving up. Patience really means not giving up, but giving in – giving in to the way of Life; if this approach is not working out, try another route and another and another. And when nothing is working out – as Vaani and I have learnt from the already-8-year-long, enduring bankruptcy in our Life – keep trusting the process of Life.
Patience is not a quality that you must develop for others’ sake. Nurture it in you for yourself. It is only when you are patient with your own aspirations that you will feel peaceful within. If you don’t have inner peace, then the entire journey of Life becomes miserable, it becomes pointless.