Neither impatience nor denial is going to solve a problem or make it go away.
A lady we know is embroiled in a legal dispute over her property with her siblings. Her matter has been pending in court for over 25 years. She said she was at her “wits’ end” and wanted to know this: “How much more patient must I be?”
I shared with her my perspectives on patience with solving problems.
When confronted with a problem the human mind responds typically with impatience – you want it solved in a jiffy, immediately. Or the mind wants to live in denial, it wants to run away from the problem. What we must realize is that both responses are wasted. Neither impatience nor denial is going to solve a problem or make it go away. Only when you accept a problem, only when you start living with it, does the problem – even though it may drag or linger on – reveal its teachable point of view. Every problem we face is teaching us something about ourselves. And only through learning from our problems do we evolve into better leaders of our Life.
In the lady’s specific case, her problem was not just that she was fighting over property with her siblings. It was also that she was fighting over it in an Indian court. So there’s being impatient is absolutely futile. She has to recognize that a resolution will take long and possibly may not even arrive in a lifetime. When she is in that state of acceptance – and clarity – she can either let law take its own course or opt for an out of court, mediated settlement. Not will to go with either choice will only cause her suffering. Which actually explains her current frame of mind, what she is experiencing right now.
More than anything else Life, teaches you patience by throwing you in the deep end of the pool or by hanging you from the edge of precipice. Yes, you have a choice to be impatient with Life. But when you are impatient, you are suffering simultaneously. Patience with a Life situation does not mean your problem will be solved immediately or that it will go away. It only means that you will not suffer, it means that you will learn to endure the pain while working diligently on resolving the situation.