Written by Ella Fuksbrauner
For a long time I have known that one of the greatest lessons I have come here to learn is patience. When I used to live in Bogota I went to see a therapist. She was wonderful, I loved her, and among many things she taught me the hidden meaning of words. In Spanish, the word “paciencia” when pronounced slowly can be broken down to “peace, yes, in oneself” (paz-si-en-si).
Growing up, my mother taught me a lot of things, but patience was not one of them. Everytime I heard the word “patience” at home, I would become extremely uneasy. I associated the term with a sense of despair, of noise, of extreme discomfort. And it made it very difficult for me to practice it in any form…I simply had none of it.
Last August my mother passed away. My healing journey has been full of twists and turns, I’ve had a world of things to learn, and still do. It has taken me many, many years to accept and process grief as part of life.
Upon my mother’s passing, it was very clear to me that my responsibility as a healer is to enable space for my own grief…as much as it requires. Holding space for grief is not an easy thing to do, most people don’t know how to. But it is a crucial passage, lest it take over.
Like with a baby that cries at night, I knew I would have to practice infinite patience with myself. My mind, my body, and my emotional being have, numerous times over, fallen apart and come together again, within the space of just a few months.
This is what grief has come to teach me: not the depth of my suffering, but the grace and beauty of my own patience, always ready to step in without judgment and bring my heart back into the light. This is what some call alchemy, shadow work, or integration.
Essentially, it is about reaching the place of suffering, and turning in to the light to find healing and relief.
Patience is not something that can be forced. The angry, impatient side of us cannot be coerced into it. We can only discover it, again and again, through practice. We can learn to make the different parts dance within us, until all that is left is light and wellbeing. This is an experience very close to Compassion, which is the highest form of Love.
I do not think of myself as a patient person. On the contrary, I still very much twist and turn, I can easily lose my focus, I perpetuate what I have been taught, to be noisy and reactive. Most of the world today functions on that level. But now I know that everything I have been granted is a gift that leads me towards the inner layers of my being. I know that deep within, there is an infinite source of peace, and I know how powerful it is.
How about you? Where does your relationship to patience meet you?