Only the inner protection of patience can keep us from experiencing the turmoil of negative thoughts and emotions. – Dalai Lama
What does that mean?
Have you ever seen the commercials or videos where someone is standing still and everything is moving around them at super fast speed? That is what this quote reminds me of. Patience brings a kind of peace that allows the turmoil around us to exist without adversely affecting our well being.
When the turmoil is within, in the form of negative emotions and thoughts, it is even more important to be able to allow the turmoil to swirl around us without affecting us. Patience with all, but most importantly ourselves, can be a useful tool in this endeavor.
Why is patience important?
I want an answer, and I want it NOW! Right? We’ve all met that person, perhaps even been that person. Hopefully we’re doing at least a little better than that now.
In the context of this saying, I believe we are dealing specifically with ourselves. We all know that other people are only human, and can make allowances for their errors. In short, we can be patient (to a point) with others. But how do we treat ourselves?
Are we too demanding? Have we forgotten that we are human too, and that we have failings as well? Do we beat ourselves up when we mess things up, or do we have patience, kindness and forgiveness for ourselves?
Where can I apply this in my life?
I am a seriously Anal-Retentive and more than a little bit nit-pickey, so learning to be patient with myself was not easy. I still have days that are better and some that are worse, but I at least now understand the concept.
I started by trying to notice when I was being hard on myself and asking if there was a way to have prevented or avoided the issue. If the answer was no, then I chalked it up to experience and tried to relax a little bit. If it turned out that it was preventable and I screwed up, I tried to go a bit easier on myself and learn from my mistakes. It didn’t always work, but I’m getting better. You can do the same thing, just watch for when you’re being hard on yourself, and lighten up & learn the lesson.
This is the path of conscious competence. It’s downside is that you have to notice that you’re messing up before you can fix it. At first, it is very tough and prone to missing entire events. Don’t beat yourself up over that too! Again, patience with yourself is important.
You might want to try to find ways to short-circuit irritability with yourself. Please grab your paper and write down situations when you tend to loose patience with yourself. When you have a dozen or so (just kidding, a little), look over the list. Is there a pattern or grouping to them? We look for these patterns so we can fix the one thing in common, and help solve several problems at once.
I tended to get aggravated when I missed deadlines, or when I was late. Both were based to not being on time. Both can be helped immensely by starting a little earlier. What can you do to help yourself be easier on yourself by not even getting mad at yourself in the first place? Was that as confusing to read as it was to write?
It might even be as simple as re-wiring yourself to show patience with yourself as the default response to messing up. How would that change your life? Would you be able to better handle your negative thoughts and emotions? Next time you start to get mad with yourself, put your anger in a ‘time out’ and take a deep breath. If you have a calming or centering method, this would be a good time to use a short version of it.
Now, before you let anger back out of the corner, assess the situation and your level of responsibility. Then come up with a couple of ideas on how to not mess up that way again for you to explore later. Now check the corner again. Is anger even there anymore, or has your patience with yourself caused it to disappear? At the least, it should be smaller and easier to handle.
Negative thoughts and emotions will be with us as long as we are human. How you react to them is what will determine your quality of life. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. After all, you’re only human.
From: Twitter, @DalaiLama
confirmed at : it’s his own feed…