The Difference Between Patience and Acceptance

my experience Jan 28, 2020

Here goes a TOUGHIE… I have a disclaimer too, while I’m at it: I don’t have this mastered (but who really has anything mastered, anyway?), but I have learned quite a lot. If you’ve read any of my blogs or know me at all, you know that weakness and passiveness have always been my biggest aversions. I live to move and shake and my favorite thing in the world is to watch people grow.

Here’s where it gets challenging: the road to the results. With tunnel vision like mine, it’s tough to enjoy the process and be patient for the harvest. In school, this impatient quality of mine came through in my work ethic: do all the classwork, homework, extra credit and even get ahead on assignments, but never study. Why? Because studying doesn’t deliver instant results. There is nothing to show from studying until after the quiz. And the correlation isn’t direct enough for my taste. As for projects and assignments though – the start to finish is visual, tangible and gratifying. You do it and you see it done.

I walk fast, I talk fast, I plan fast and I act fast. Procrastination is my enemy. So hey, I guess there is a positive to this vice. But the discomfort I felt day to day about getting things done and getting them done NOW, became almost unbearable. Agitation and frustration were the two devils I knew so well that lived on my shoulder. I knew I had work to do: “I am patient” became every password, reminder, meditation and doodle in the book. “I am patient,” I told myself for months.

Patience is a virtue. I knew I’d be in for the long haul learning this one. I’m an Aries after all – impatience is the name of the game. 6 months into it, I found myself breathing a little deeper, moving a little slower, and trying a little more that didn’t deliver immediate results. Anybody else love instant gratification? Anybody else wanna go fast? It literally pained me to go slow and steady, but I knew the rewiring was happening.

Months of pushing myself in this way went by before I hit an oh-so-familiar inner roadblock. I am patient wasn’t working anymore. I had developed patience – though not entirely innate, I could breathe into this quality like never before – it was accessible. What was missing was the actual enjoyment of that. Do you know what that’s called? I certainly didn’t because it’s that word that was real foreign to me: acceptance.

I realized that patience’s twin sister was acceptance and I’d been ignoring her the entire time. I didn’t even see her there. And when I did, I didn’t like her right off the bat. Oof. That’s when I knew I needed to learn to accept her the most (the irony).

With work, I learned that acceptance is when you truly believe the process is the candy. It’s when you find beauty in the shittiest of moments. It’s when you stop your judgment in its track. It’s when you stop trying to change people and instead look to understand them. It’s when you choose to find the silver linings. It's when you learn to appreciate exactly where you're at. It’s when you open your arms to the world and decide to lead from love, love, love.

Who knew these two would get stuck together? Patience and acceptance - what a difficult duo.

But really, what a beautiful one.

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