They say patience is a virtue as if that eased the struggle to be patient. 60, 80…100 years is a literal lifetime for a human (sometimes shorter, sometimes longer, life is unpredictable in the end.) but for the universe, it is the blink of an eye. Patience can be hard, excruciating, almost unbearable in certain circumstances.
I’m in the process of chasing my dreams but patience is not my best friend. (Her name is Harriet, in case you were wondering.) I’m studying in two programs through Cherry Hill Seminary: The Community Ministry Certification program, so I can do community ministry work, and the Spiritual Direction Program, so I can hone my skills and become a spiritual companion. I have about 6 months left on one, and 22 months on the other. That feels like a lifetime away.
What does that have to do with spirituality, other than these are spiritual programs I am undertaking? In developing our relationship with deity, with spirits, with our own spiritual callings- it takes time. Answers don’t come right away, and in order to grow, we have to study and learn. That might mean reading lots of books, or going out frequently in nature to converse with Earth energy. It might mean attending workshops and conferences, and it might be creating daily rituals. In the end, it definitely means doing the work.
I won’t pass these programs if I don’t show up and do the work, and your spirituality will never grow and evolve if you don’t show up and do the work. Waiting for answers, searching for meaning, finding a deeper purpose- all of these are things that just don’t seem to come instantly when we start our journeys. It comes slowly, over time, and waiting can feel difficult. It might be when we start to ask ourselves if we’re on the right course. We can even start doubting ourselves, and our faith.
The best way, I think, to stay patient is to keep a record of the things you are waiting for, and what steps you are taking. To look for patterns, to look for improvement, and to keep stock of what you are looking for. When I start to doubt if I’m on the right path, or if I’m following some fool’s errand, I go through my journal, and look at the reasons why I started off on that journey. I talk to deity, I talk to friends and family that I trust. I look at the work I’ve done, and yeah, I make adjustments sometimes. I will journal again (I will always advocate for journal work!) and explore over and over why I'm on this path, what my goals and dreams are, what my plan of action is, and sometimes I even create a mini goal, to satiate that need for results when I’m struggling to be patient.
Don’t give up, and don’t let a lack of patience veer you off your course. Trust, not only in yourself, but spirit and Universe. And it’s ok to admit it. Being patient sucks sometimes. But if this path is worth anything to you, that uncomfortable state of waiting and being patient is worth it, in the end.