What is patience? Is it an emotion? If I ask you: ”what do you feel?” would you say: “Oh, I feel patient!”? Is it a series of body sensations? Is it a thought? Is it a moralistic shouldism? You should be patient! Is it one of the high virtues like honesty, faithfulness, truth, uprightness….patience? Is it written in stone on a roman architrave ? There I found a wise old latin saying: Haec virtus vidua est, quam non patientia firmat . - “Courage is weak if is not strengthened by patience.”
What is patience for you right now? Something unreachable, a constant companion? What flavor does patience add to your life?
I am working as a Gestalt-therapist since 20 years and explore again and again how change, development and growth can happen in human beings. When I watch nature I can see that the grass grows by itself, rain falls, sun is shining…there is no hurry, there is patience. The dictionary says: “Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
” The rose in my garden tolerates long times of no rain in Mallorca, bears strong storms without complaints, does not get annoyed if many snails crawl on it. The rose has no impatience and does not go into resistance with what happens – she grows!”
Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalttherapy ascertains that parents have to tolerate the impatience of their children, because they cannot grow up without frustration. – “Growth needs patience.”
The toughest lesson in patience I had in the last 3 years. The master teacher was a burnout followed by a depression. Before that episode I experienced myself as a radiant, successful and optimistic being going the path towards my own truth with Osho since 24 years. I gave all my energy – and I have a lot! I am teaching Humanistic Psychotherapy in various german cities together with my partner Rajan and at the same time we run a seminary house/center in Mallorca with a huge piece of land and 3 houses. My tasks were constantly growing in Spain and Germany over the years, then suddenly my sister in law died who formed part of the seminary business. I did not only loose a friend, a close relative, I also had one house and another piece of land more to manage. This was when I had a nervous breakdown. Then everything changed. I lost complete control of my life. As much as i tried to reset myself, I was unable to manage. Patience! I had to pass on my tasks and duties. After a while my capacity for joy, the feeling of emotions and my curiosity for life – all my liveliness – slowly vanished. I was like a dead corpse, like a zombie without a soul. All different therapies could not reach me, nor many different natural and homeopathic medicines. I was desperate. Many self destroying programs started. My body stopped functioning in many ways. It was like standing in a burning house and the only way out seemed to be jumping out of this life. Patience? When the thoughts of how to commit suicide didn’t stop day and night and I did not see my body jumping, I realized that I needed severe help from school medicine. Patience! Finally I found a psychiatrist who was empathetic with me and had the compass for my lost ship. And with a little help of him and my friends I found back to my own harbor. Now I am patient, not really I, there is patience. I experience myself having all the time in the world. Even though I now see the gifts of this crisis I would not wish this experience on my biggest enemy. First I had no time – I was ahead of myself. In the crisis I was out of myself, time stood still. Now I have got plenty of time. So what is patience? To me right now: patience is being congruent with myself.