Patience In the Middle Places
The truth. I’ve struggled with my relationship with patience my whole life. I believed that if something should or could be done, then why not right now?
The faster the better.
For example, recently when the temperatures dropped to sub-zero in the Midwest, the door to my car’s gas tank froze shut. I wasn’t going anywhere. There was gas in the tank. I had access to several other cars available in the driveway. But I wanted it fixed.
Right at that moment.
With that mindset, I went at it until I ripped the metal door right off the gas tank. Had I had patience, I would have waited for the temperature to rise the predicted 30 degrees that it did the next day. Surely, both my car and I would have been better off.
As I walked into my parent’s house holding the part of my car I’d ripped off, I asked myself, what just happened?
What I observed is how uncomfortable I am waiting in the middle place. That time in between when things aren’t fixed, or finished, or my ambitions that I’m so passionate about are not actualized. It’s the space in the middle that causes me unrest.
In those middle places, I find I am thinking about all of the things that need to happen and get done right now. I have places to go, and people to meet. I have aspirations calling my name that I want to realize. Maybe you feel this too.
I was led to believe by society that success was a product of going fast. Slowing down was for people who didn’t have anything to do or who had completed everything they wanted already.
Viewing life in this way, it’s easy to see why I’ve moved fast and had a chilly relationship with patience.
I’ve spent a lot of time hustling with the belief that it will allow me to slow down at some point. I rush now so I can move slowly in my ideal future life.
I believe we need to seek the balance between hustling to make things happen right now and embracing the place in between. It’s in this middle place that I know I gain clarity, grow myself, and have more real moments in my parenting, marriage, and work.
I know we all think we have someplace fast we have to go at this moment, but do we really?
If you’ve told yourself the story that you’ve got to go faster or you have to get this done at this moment, have you ever stopped to ask yourself, is it true?
What would be better in your life if you slowed down? If you didn’t buy into the story that ‘it’ needs to happen right now would your relationships, your marriage, your parenting, your work, or leadership be better off? What would happen if you weren’t constantly going so fast?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you might ask yourself: When is a good time to slow down? What is worth slowing down for? I asked myself these questions the day I observed how I resisted the middle place.
Sometimes being patient can feel like we’re giving up on our ambitions. It’s not.
Being patient doesn’t mean surrendering our ambitions. It means surrendering how they happen.
It’s far easier to be patient when you believe the Universe has a plan far greater than your own. Not everything is best when imposed with our timetable.
When we believe this, we trust. We slow down and we create the space to allow the universe (and others) to support us.
That ambition of yours that’s banging on your door, it’s coming. In the meantime, slow down, get comfortable, and embrace the space in between. It’s the good part.
In your corner,