Living Out Loud
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Living Out Loud

5 Profound Life Lessons I Learnt Being Patient

It all began with sweaty palms.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

“Sometimes things aren’t clear right away. That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead”.

— Mary Pierce

I am a very anxious person by nature. So much that I used to and still somewhat have an issue with sweaty palms. This is not just when your palms sweat when you’re anxious. It was as excessive as when I wrote my exam paper in school; I had to carry a handkerchief in fear that my writing shouldn’t get wet.

Over time I realized that I need to get myself together. To deal with anxiety means to put myself right in front of fear. That’s when I changed from an extreme introvert to an ambivert and put myself in front of others. This would be by participating in extracurriculars, starting a conversation with the lecturer, or voice my opinion that would uplift others. Did the sweaty palms stop then? No, but the frequency diminished.

I didn’t do this to prove myself that I can deal with extreme anxiety. Instead, I kept reminding myself that no situation is so severe that it cannot be dealt with. All it needs is patience and the hope that in the end, everything will fall in place just the way it’s supposed to.

The Thirst for Immediate Answers

Last year when I discovered meditation, it felt like the proper treatment appears when you need it the most. But anyway, for me, meditation became a safe corner to embrace how I think and develop my dying patience levels and the habit of expecting immediate outcomes such as:

  • So why hasn’t that payment been reversed yet?
  • Why isn’t she answering the call?
  • Did I say something so absurd that I should not even think of stepping out ever?
  • Why is it that all IT breakdowns happen when I touch the computer screen?

In this and countless other scenarios, I would always search for answers immediately.

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait — it’s how we behave while we’re waiting”.

— Joyce Meyer

Until I realized that the best answers appear when you have the patience to wait for them.

Patience then taught me some profound life lessons:

1. If it Wasn’t Yours, it was Never Meant to Be

Remember those days when you used to tell yourself, ‘why did this happen to me? ‘why is life so unfair and all good things happen to others but for me’? It’s frustrating. To see others eat the cake and you don’t even get one slice of it. But if you look at it from another perspective, maybe that cake wasn’t that tasty after all, and you deserve that exquisite cake that you will get to savour over the weekend.

What patience taught me then was those good things always take time even though the wait is excruciating. If something doesn’t happen the way you expected, it wasn’t meant for you in the first place, and something better is on its way.


2. It Is Saving You from Something Worse

People leave. But when they do, they break a piece of your heart. That’s again a test of patience when you wait to let it heal. Once the healing begins, and you get on with your life, then life reveals to you the reason for your heartbreak. You realise that that person leaving was the best thing that ever happened to you because you learn how to:

  • Find your hidden talents (for me, I never knew I could write if some people never left).
  • Discover people that share your values.
  • Learn how to respect and get the respect you deserve.
  • Everyone has an expiry-role date in your life. They taught you a lesson when they left.

3. Patience Helps Medicines Work Faster

There were moments when you were sick in bed for a week. Yes, medicines did work, but your patience levels speeded the process. It may sound crazy but go back to the days when you couldn’t get out of bed because that fever just wouldn’t come down. The more restless you were, the worse it got. Then, finally, the moment you told yourself, oh, let me treat it like an extended holiday where I just needed to sleep, your body called the signal, and things started to work for you from the next day.

4. It Helps You See Things Clearly

When you are troubled and are waiting for your answers, do anything, but it just won’t appear. The thing is, we look for answers externally when all this is within us. It’s strange but when I call my friends and spill about my troubles they always tell me that you already know the answers to the questions. You want us to tell you that what you are thinking is correct.

I learned that even in the darkest times in your life, what will help is being patient. The next step will appear if you pause and calm your nerves. Will that effort work is a million-dollar question. But what helped me and you at some point was not to think about the outcome but to trust the effort as we were always told that ‘some effort is better than no effort at all’.

5. It Reveals the Truth

Sometimes you have to walk away from people and situations. Remember the times when no matter what you do, nothing works. That’s when you leave. Take a break and leave it to the universe to work things out. It sounds superficial, but that’s the exact self-talk you needed.

What happened then was you waited. People can show how much they truly mean when they care for you and for situations to unfold for you to know whether it’s worth your time and effort to even think about it. You see, when you leave, that’s when your value is realised. It’s when you realise if that person or that situation at work is worth your time and attention. A true revelation only happens when you wait PATIENTLY.

Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.

— Elon Musk

It’s not easy, and no, it didn’t happen to me overnight. So I had to bite my tongue and tell myself that right now, all I need to do is wait.

Because even though you wish for the best possible outcome after all the effort you could have taken, some things only happen when you wait. This wait could involve biting your nails, waiting for that WhatsApp message or email, or simply showing up at work after having a sleepless night.

But if you keep your calm and survive through countless negative thoughts, you embrace the wait, and with time, your levels of patience increase. So much that next time you will switch off your phone and tell yourself, ‘I cannot do anything about it right now. So why not just dream about being at Hogwarts and getting sorted at Gryffindor instead’.

Oh wait, I am more of a Hufflepuff; what about you?

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Sujona Chatterjee

Sujona Chatterjee

Living life the only way I know how — one day at a time.