Nothing in life comes without patience.
I should have learned that by now, but sometimes, in my 30s, I still feel like the impatient little girl I used to be. I recently came back after a trip around the world of six months and I knew it would be hard to start a new chapter: new place to live, new house, new job, new friends.
In August 2016, my husband and I left the U.S. to travel without a specific plan for the following chapter. It takes already a lot of energy to plan the different phases of a long trip. Why add unnecessary stress thinking about the return? We would figure it out.
People think that, in order to move from a place to the other and start from scratch, you need to be brave, flexible, adaptable, resourceful. No one talks about patience. I have all the qualities needed to take a leap of faith, everything but patience.
We all want to reach destinations in life (happiness, love, professional achievements), but it’s important to enjoy the journey. Sometimes the journey doesn’t mean movement, it means quiet days researching, planning, walking, thinking. I love the journey part when I am traveling, but I get restless when routine comes. That’s why my renewal for this month, is about patience.
Patience means appreciation for what life offers you in the present moment.
It’s a virtue that can be used in everyday life, but also in the spiritual life. Some people say that they can’t sit still and meditate. Why? Because they don’t cultivate patience. I learned how to meditate, but I still have to work on practicing patience when it seems that my life is not moving forward. The truth is that life moves and no one gives you back the time you spend complaining and overthinking.
I think that the first step to nurturing patience is to be thankful to wake up in the morning and be healthy. Then, remind yourself that this moment that makes you feel unsatisfied is a transition. The last thing to do is to suck up the quiet time for all the busy times ahead. Next time you feel overwhelmed with too many things to do, bring back that energy that you have been storing. In nature, we have the example of cacti in the desert storing the water for the dry times. Do the same. Nature gives us the best tips for survival during hard times. When in doubt, learn from nature.
Not everybody came back from a trip around the world, but everybody can exercise patience. Maybe you are waiting to know the result of an exam, an interview, or maybe you can’t wait for the day you get married this summer. Whatever you’re up to, remember that patience is the virtue of survival.
More About Chiara Townley: Chiara Townley was born in Milan, Italy in 1984. She has always had a passion for foreign languages and travel. She lived in 4 countries to date and she likes defining herself as a citizen of the world. Chiara became an author to inspire and empower. She believes that travel is a passion that can take us to different paths in life – a vehicle to open new horizons. Her motto is: “Fairy tales exist and it depends on us to make them happen.” You can learn more about Chiara at chiarabtownley.com.