Patience is a difficult thing to master. We are taught from a very early age to go after what we want, or in some cases, what others want for us. While patience is indeed a virtue, it also tends to get a bad rap in our “go go go” society.
I recently listened to a podcast featuring Michael Singer, the author of one of my favorite books, The Untethered Soul. He spoke of the all too common condition of living on the hamster wheel; always pursuing what we think will make us happy. He espoused that the true spiritual path was found in the realization that what we all truly seek is to live a well and happy life, and it is the constant chasing (or running from) something that distracts us from our real purpose and steals our joy in the present. Sounds simple enough, but it also goes against everything we are taught about pursuing goals.
Many of us have fallen into careers that we may not have even heard of, much less truly wanted to pursue. As a result, we go through each day working for the paycheck rather than for the Self. We are running so fast on the hamster wheel that it has become far too scary to jump off. This not to say that these careers or bad or unimportant, but you owe it to yourself to consider whether these careers or jobs are making you feel well and happy, or whether they are just an all-consuming means to an end.
On the surface, it might seem like this presents an argument against striving and goal setting, which it is not. Goals are necessary for everything we do in life, from the time we get up in the morning to when we lay our head down at night. Without goals, there would be no inertia to keep life moving forward.
The important inquiry, however, is whether you are pursuing the right goals for you. The goals that stand up for your happiness. The goals that result in a well and happy life teeming with purpose and passion. Everything else will land you on the hamster wheel of pursuing something, anything, that you think will make you happy at some point in the future. But what about being happy now? How would it feel to be living passionately about what you are doing now as opposed to spending years working and stressing and chasing something that might never materialize?
If you are working at a job that does not light you up, I am not suggesting that you simply quit with no plan in place. Quite the contrary. What I am suggesting, however, is that you make your joy a priority. Use your free time to pursue what you are passionate about rather than lamenting about your dissatisfaction with your current situation. Instead of sitting numbly in front of the television at the end of the day, go do something, anything, that furthers your right goals. As you give attention to your purpose, you will notice more and more opportunities presenting themselves to you that will, in turn, give you more time and resources to go after that which you truly want. When you start pursuing your joy, your joy will start pursuing you.
There are numerous quotes about attracting what you want, being what you seek, and sitting in patience rather than chasing what you think you want. Remember that each one of us was birthed with the seeds of our unique purpose already planted within. Your particular desires, gifts and talents are evidence of those seeds and are the best indicator of your purpose. Not everyone wants to be a doctor, or a school teacher, or a musician, but many pursue those goals out of a sense of obligation or social construct. The true spiritual path involves identifying those things that will make you feel truly good and in alignment with your Higher Self and honoring those pursuits with your time and attention. If you commit to this way of living, you will find that the patience of which Rumi speaks will actually help your dreams become your reality.
Investing time and energy into something you love will not be difficult; in fact, you will find such a lightness of being that you will probably wonder what took you so long to get off that hamster wheel. You were created for a specific purpose on this Earth, my darling, and it is time to exercise your Divine right to fulfill that purpose.