Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Imagine yourself lying in a field where the tall grasses are swaying. The bees are buzzing, birds occasionally chiming in. Time is not relevant to the "now" of this field. Is the air of this natural moment active or passive?
In my desire to nurture patience within, I want to unpack the components of patience further. First, I want to understand active patience. Not passive, I will endure this, patience, but active, alive patience.
In my thinking I found two verbs that seem to be part of my active patience, waiting and observing.
Waiting obviously requires patience. But, active waiting is hopeful and invites a curiosity needed to employ the second verb, observing. If you find yourself in a place of active patience, observing is a tremendous help. Instantly your state becomes mindful of "now". What am I observing "now"? Observation, in turn, invites perspective. Waiting in a doctor's office is less a waste of precious time but more an opportunity to be aware and open to interesting conversations, or the quieting of racing thoughts, or even the quality of breath.
Two other words, not verbs, but adjectives, grow from active patience. Acceptance and calmness are on the right hand and left hand of active patience.
Going back to the doctor's office, what can you acquire from accepting that you have no control over the length of your visit? Longsuffering; having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people. That dictionary definition is less harsh than the word itself. No one wants to suffer long but can we learn to trust ourselves more when we accept "what is"?
So if you have been waiting, observing, accepting, chances are you have some moments of calm. Right? The calm when your breath gets slower and your tensions surrender. That is active patience, to me. It is active because I am choosing this path. I am not a victim but a trusting pilgrim wandering the landscape of patience.