Bismillah Hir Rahman Ir Raheem
What does it mean to be patient?
For me, patience is walking barefoot on burning coals to achieve what is there at the end.
It is the weak shield that is trying its best to fend off incoming sword and arrow attacks.
It is the tiny drop of water that extinguishes a flame that is at the edge of going out of control.
It is the small burst of passion to lift up a heavy load by choice when you could just as easily drop it.
And it is our conscience standing at the thin boundary between the ongoing fight between good and evil in the mind
I’m not sure if you thought of patience in this way but this is what I think when someone is patient or what it feels like for me to be patient.
When you think of it, patience is a strong trait for someone to have. It has the capacity to stop what could turn out to be a war. In a small scale, it could stop an argument of someone crashing another person’s car or a simple argument between husband and wife from escalating into unknown dangerous territories. By understanding its use in a small scale, imagine its effect on a large scale. A leader could refrain from acting impulsively to destroy another country and endangering innocent lives if he or she took the time to understand the foreign policy stated by that country’s leader. So, in a way, a bit of patience can change the world.
But it can also be something as simple as accepting the fact that you had a bad day at work or school, or your school field trip didn’t turn out to be well. Patience can help you accept that not everything is in your control so you make the most of what you have. If that is not possible, it is alright, it happens.
Surprisingly, I don’t find trouble being patient. I keep a mental check on myself. I don’t hold grudges against others so there hasn’t been an incident where it unleashes itself because I am not patient enough to consider what is right or wrong. Being patient also means being hopeful and no matter how bad things turn out, I always hope for the best therefore I am patient enough to work for or wait for the best to happen. As it is one’s perception that effects one’s life, being patient really helps me to have a calm and content state of mind as I trust in Allah’s plan. Whether it is good or bad, I know it is for the best as His plan is always the best, and I’m not just saying it for the sake of it; I’ve experienced it all my life and Alhamdulillah it feels great!
But, not to degrade anyone, I have learnt to be patient from experience. I’m kind of surrounded by people who test my patience everyday. They often say and do things that really make my heart race, my face heat up, give them the death stare and feel like strangling them. But then the wisdom centre in my head gets triggered in attempt to stop the adrenaline flowing through my blood and literally tells me, “Calm down. Don’t lash out. You’ll make a big issue. Either say something good or just shut up and sit down or walk away. Drink some water. Have some chocolate if available 🙂” and after a couple of seconds, I calm down and therefore, succeed in preventing a war.
Thus, patience doesn’t mean not harboring any bad feelings for someone. It is an immense level of self-restraint, as mentioned in the examples in the start. The painful hurdles mentioned are your anger, jealousy, pride, arrogance and other bad feelings that build up in your head. What patience does is attempts to extinguish these feelings to encourage more positive feelings that benefit others and one’s self.
I mention weak shield and small amounts of pride and water because being patient can be hard. You can have very little defence against the negative feelings in your mind that makes it seem impossible to stop them. But thats where the important thing fuelling patience comes; effort. It is effort that makes one withstand the hot coals beneath one’s burning feet. It is effort that makes use of the weak shield and makes it stronger, makes use of the tiny drop of water and small amount of passion into a gushing stream. AND it is effort that pushes one’s conscience to the side of the good in the mind thats favours the fight supporting good against evil.
We are all born good with all the traits necessary to make a good person. But it is effort in the form of knowledge and dedication that makes one an extraordinarily good person. I know it is hard but know that even Allah and our Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW know/knew that. Our Prophet SAW said that there is a special separate gate to Heaven for those who are patient because Allah acknowledges the tremendous strength of those who are patient. Therefore, it is a basic ethic that we must implement, if not for others than for ourselves
The Holy Quran talks about patience in Surah Baqarah:
And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits but give glad tidings to the As-Sabirin (the patient). (2:155)
Who, when afflicted with calamity, say “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” (156)
They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who receive His) Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones. (157)
Take care, everyone, and let us not give up on out journey of self-reflection.