Patience is a virtue.
I’m learning patience is also a necessity. In wellness.
Instant gratification is the nemesis of wellness. You could also state that it is an antonym of patience. With that thought in mind, I recently realized the very significant connection between wellness and patience.
I love when an “aha” moment occurs. When you interpret a thought you’ve always known, in just a slightly different way, and all of a sudden something changes. You feel like it truly resonates. It sinks in and you can feel it.
This happened the other day during a car ride discussion. I had an “aha” moment about the age old conundrum of instant gratification. We were discussing the constant urge to just indulge; to just have the cookies, have the pizza, the ice cream, the roll, the chips, the bagel, muffin, chocolate, nachos, cocktail—have whatever temptation is present in the moment when you choose instant gratification over wellness. We were dissecting this idea. Why do we always choose instant gratification!? Why do we so often choose the indulgence over what we want so much —to be well! We want so badly to feel good; get rid of our excess fat, be fit, feel confident, eat food that fuels us, yet, in the moment, we make the choice that pushes us further away from what we say we want most. WHY?!
Because what we want most is to feel good! But the kicker is we also lack patience. Think of it this way. You have two ways to feel good:
Eat the heavenly tasting food that is in front of you, and feel good instantly!
Choose not to give in to the tasty temptation, time and time again, for weeks, even months, and then after those weeks/months, feel good.
We need to become really aware of the fact that there’s a big gap of time between these two scenarios. You’re not going to drop the 10 pounds you want to lose the first time you say no to the dinner rolls. You’re not going to forget your sugar addiction the moment you choose a couple strawberries over a bowl of ice cream. Instead, you’re going to give up the opportunity to feel that instantaneous, good feeling of “Yum!”
It may feel sacrificial. It’s almost guaranteed to feel challenging.
We have to get comfortable with this —the gap. The gap between instant gratification-feel good and wellness-feel good. The gap may feel like sacrifice, like a burden, difficult, uncomfortable, and exhausting. All the things that we generally don’t like to feel. So, when we can’t take those feelings any longer, we find something that gives us the instantaneous feel good! “Mmmmm, chocolate.”
But if we took a step back, and saw everything from afar, a panoramic view, we’d see that just beyond the not-so-lovely gap, is nirvana. It’s wellness! It’s no excess fat; it’s energy, confidence, feeling good. All. The. Time.
Now let’s talk patience. Another “aha” moment recently. Let this sink in:
Patience is not the actual act of waiting. Patience is how you wait.
How do you conduct yourself in the gap? Do you allow the feelings of the gap to frustrate you, get you down, and defeat you? Or do you choose a heightened awareness, realizing that those feelings are exactly what is takes to get from Point A (instant gratification-feel good) to Point B (wellness-feel good). You get excited about the not-so-lovely gap because you know it means you’re on to something. It’s the sign that you’re about to really, truly feel good.
THAT is patience. Being happy in the gap. Being excited in the gap. Loving life, in the gap.
Not waiting to be happy until you get to the other side.