Lately, I’ve discovered something about myself I find very startling. I’ve been having these moments that sort of give brief glimpses into my soul and what I see is a very impatient man. I call this insight ‘startling’ because nearly all my life, I’ve lived under the impression (or illusion) that I’m the exact opposite.
I’m impatient with myself, with situations and by extension with those around me. Over time, I think this trait developed under the guise of having high standards for myself and invariably those around me. Now, I’m not so sure that is the whole truth. On some level I think I actually do like the bar set high but this is not a good excuse for impatience.
Trees that will stand tall must first grow deep roots. This is precisely the kind of talk that secretly drives me crazy. Metaphorically, I want to be a giant tree in every area of my life but I find that I hate the ‘root growing’ phase of life. I want to live a ‘quality’ life without paying the dues. It is so evidently foolish but that really is how I’ve lived my life.
The way life is set up, everything essentially goes through a process. Some things take longer than others. That’s just the way it is. When I get fixated on ‘results’ and ‘outcomes’ it feeds the monster of impatience. I see a lot of parallels in the world around me. In the name of trying to do things faster and better, have we lost the discipline of waiting.
As I said, it has affected the way I treat those around me. I find that I have no appreciation for ‘works in progress’. I’m all about the finished goods, so no matter how great, once the ‘item’ is not done, I can only see it is as a failure. I am unable to appreciate the people around me who are constantly learning, growing and transforming. All I can see is what they’re not, not what they’re becoming.
So now, I’m saddled with the task of trying to apply the brakes, of taking the time to go through the system, of letting myself (and others around me) get fully ‘done’. I also need to trust the process to do its job. It’s not really about the age old half-full, half-empty argument per se but just understanding that good things take time and great things even longer.
Lastly, I need to learn to accept the cold fact that I’m not the finished product(I should hope so!) and as a result, admit my failings and shortcomings- not as a reason to beat myself, but a reminder that I still have a ways to go and that I need to keep at it. This also applies to the people I relate with and my general life circumstances.
I’ve only just begun to approach life this way. It’s already difficult accepting that it will take sometime to adjust. I can already feel my inner hound snatching at my heels, pushing for results. I hope I can take it one day at a time because in the end, today is all I really have.