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Power of patience critical to lasting happiness

The power of patience is all too easily overlooked in our fast paced culture. But it’s absolutely critical to lasting happiness and inner peace.

True, with more and more people demanding immediate gratification it might seem patience has become obsolete.

But whatever your age, and whatever your life situation, nurturing this calm and noble quality will yield the same rich rewards today that it always has throughout the entire run of human history.

Of course, it goes without saying that patience can never really be isolated from any of the other qualities of our own true character. "Patience is the companion of wisdom," said St. Augustine, and he was absolutely right. Patience needs the balance of wisdom – and it needs the balance of courage too.

Here are 5 reasons why the power of patience is so important in your life.

 1. You need the power of patience to fulfill your dreams.

If you are short of patience, even though your dream may be an admirable one, you will simply not have the strength and persistence necessary to sustain you through the inevitable disappointments and setbacks that life brings.

2. You need patience to become whole.

 What was true in ages past is still true today. "Let patience have her perfect works, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

 3. Patience is required to fully forgive.

Often, we may think we have forgiven someone – perhaps God himself – for some past injustice, but then the pain and resentment rise up in us again. Do we give up, and allow negative emotions to fester freely in us until we die?

Or do we summon the Angel of patience to our aid and forgive at a deeper level?

4. Patience makes it possible to see another person in a truer light.

It takes time and perseverance to see through our first impressions -- which may or may not be all that accurate – and come to know the real person behind the outer mask.

 5. The power of patience nourishes all other human virtues.

As St. Augustine suggested, if we want to develop wisdom, we will need the help of its companion, patience. Or how about compassion? Perhaps some people are born with naturally compassionate natures -- but it’s my guess that even compassion needs the nourishment of patience at times.

Perhaps patience is in my mind at the moment because JoAnn and I are still hard at work making improvements to our new home. Fortunately the well of patience hasn’t run dry yet…

If you have a story to share concerning the power of patience in your life I’d love to hear it. If you enjoyed this article, please consider subscribing to my blog.

Picture credit: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/61/218202579_679ffa0720_m.jpg

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Durwin Foster July 15, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Great one, dad. Thanks for posting this! I am aware that the Dalai Lama talks about patience as an antidote to anger, allowing us to endure those who might otherwise be perceived as enemies. His example extraordinary in this regard!!!

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Christopher Foster July 16, 2010 at 10:10 am

Thanks Durwin. I appreciate the reference to the Dalai Lama and how patience can help us deal with anger. As you say he has certainly proved all this in his own living hasn’t he? Very inspiring. Blessings to you — and blessings to the Dalai too.

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Farouk July 18, 2010 at 2:35 am

all those points are useful and well said
thanks for sharing that post 🙂

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Christopher Foster July 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

And thank you Farouk for stopping by and for your kind comment. All the very best.

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Ladygoodwood July 19, 2010 at 5:03 am

Patience is a true gift and I find that as I develop patience, I develop tolerance and compassion. Many years ago as a social work student, I was sent on a placement to a care home for adults with learning difficulties. My role was to promote independence and dignity and to encourage. I had to do a project, so I decided to ‘teach’ two of the residents how to make pizza and salad. At times, the overwhelming desire to take over was hard to keep in check. I wanted to slice the mushrooms properly, chop the onion more quickly etc etc. but I didn’t. I allowed the 2 people to work at their own pace. When the pizzas came out of the oven, they were so excited, it was the first time they had ever been given opportunity to cook. I learned so much from them and that by practising my patience, I could encourage 2 other people to blossom.
I have gone on to lecture in social care, and I always tell students that one of the core values is patience, becasue by exercising patience we are practising acceptance of others and therefore acceptance of God’s world.

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Christopher Foster July 19, 2010 at 9:15 am

What a beautiful story Juliana. Thank you so much for sharing it. I’m sure it was hard at times to keep your “cool” and stay patient but what a lovely outcome, I can pretty well ‘smell’ the fresh pizza coming out of the oven even though it did all happen long ago as you say…

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Robin Easton July 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Dear Chris, this so lovely. as well as timely for me. With my book coming out in Sept. I often find myself impatient with the amount of work I have to do. So #1 here really resonated with me. All the others I seem to live more easily, but #1 is a lesson I need to learn now. It is a lesson in letting go and realizing that some things are larger than I can handle myself. So I have to let go and trust that all is perfect and that the universe will give me the breathing room I need if I trust in its perfection. And that it will in fact sustain me much better.

Love these words: “If you are short of patience, even though your dream may be an admirable one, you will simply not have the strength and persistence necessary to sustain you through the inevitable disappointments and setbacks that life brings.” Or the sustain the necessary energy to make it a long term dream.

We all need rest, time out, time for contemplation. So now I learn trust, and that all is perfect, and what is needed will get done; I learn to let go.

Thank you dear soul. Your words are beautiful and so soothing. I am grateful. Big hugs to you, Robin

PS: I also LOVE this one: “You need patience to become whole.” That is a keeper, and says it all!! Wow! 🙂

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Christopher Foster July 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Thank you Robin. Your words always land in a deep place in me. I really appreciate you sharing your precious spirit in this way at my blog and I wish you every success with your new book. What is the title of it going to be? Is it about your experiences in Nature and the wilds?

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Vincent July 23, 2010 at 8:33 am

Hi Christopher,

I found you through Change Your Thoughts. Patience is the key to most things in life. We can’t expect to plant a seed and demand a tree the very moment.

We need patience to gain what we had sowed.

Cheers,
Vincent

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Christopher Foster July 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Thank you Vincent. As you say, if we put a seed in the ground we don’t expect it to sprout overnight, and it’s the same when it comes to our own lives.

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wisemrlove July 24, 2010 at 11:01 am

Part of the attributes of love is patience and if we are truly to love our neighbours the way we love ourself then we will have to exercise a lot of patience. Especially in marriage. Patience is a true virtue and those who have the virtue will reap its rewards. If only people could learn to be more patient instead of expecting instant results, they will eventually get the outcome they want. Great post

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Christopher Foster July 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Such a pleasure to hear from you Paul. Thankyou very much for your comment and for enlarging on this topic the way you did. Every good wish to you.

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Robin Easton July 25, 2010 at 11:30 am

Hi Chris, Yes, my book IS about my time in the wild, in the Daintree rainforest of Queensland Australia when I was younger. It is a story of self-discover, healing and wild adventure. It is the title of my blog. “Naked in Eden: My Adventure and Awakening in the Australian Rainforest.” I am touched that you asked. It will be in the stores and on Amazon Sept 1, 2010….just over a month away!!! 🙂 Thank you dear Chris! Hugs, Robin

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Christopher Foster July 25, 2010 at 11:36 am

That’s great news about your book Robin. Thankyou for sharing it. What an adventure it must have been writing it. And now the adventure of seeing it given birth… I am very happy for you and for all those who will be blessed by it. And while it’s only a “virtual” hug unfortunately I’d like to give you a hug back if I may…

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Game December 12, 2010 at 2:35 am

Thank you for sharing. Patience is very important in life. Need to take life seriously, should not think like a game.

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Christopher Foster May 17, 2011 at 9:15 am

Well, thank you so much, my new friend. I really appreciate your kind words and I’m so glad the blog is a help. Wish you every success going forward with your life. Blessings.

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y8 May 26, 2011 at 8:07 am

Thank you for sharing. Patience is very important in life. Need to take life seriously, should not think like a game.
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Christopher Foster May 28, 2011 at 9:25 am

Thanks friend. Yes, we’re not going to get far without patience, are we? The best of everything to you.

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a game January 1, 2012 at 11:58 am

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ork February 26, 2012 at 7:36 am

Thank you for sharing. Patience is very important in life. Need to take life seriously, should not think like a game.

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Christopher Foster February 27, 2012 at 10:49 am

Thank you Ork. Good to hear from you. I wish you all the very best.

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Christopher Foster March 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Thanks kizi, nice hearing from you.

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Papa April 1, 2013 at 1:47 am

Patience is the Key to heaven.

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Christopher Foster April 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I agree. Thanks for writing.

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