By Nayaswami Dharmadevi
March 6, 2018

Impatience leads us to believe that contentment is passive. How can I be happy when things are not as they should be? Wouldn’t it be complacency to accept things as they are?

I used to think this way. I would tell myself (self-righteously) “But I have to make something happen. Things aren’t going to change themselves.” It’s true that we have to put out dynamic energy in a positive direction in order to enact change in our lives.

It’s easy to be patient in circumstances that we deem worthy of patience – for example, when teaching a child mathematics for the first time. Isn’t it much easier to teach the child when he feels your patient support, rather than if you’ve ever felt frustrated that he still isn’t getting it? The child feels your frustration, which causes tension and leads to even more difficulty in grasping the information at hand.

Now, what about when you yourself repeat a negative habit pattern? Do you show yourself the same patience and understanding you would to a child? If you do, you will much more easily overcome the negative patterns you’ve set your mind to overcoming.

Swami Kriyananda gave us a simple affirmation to positively and patiently deal with our negative patterns. He was trying to quit smoking and whenever he would return to the habit, rather than beating himself up, feeling frustrated, and eventually giving up the fight, he would simply tell himself, “I haven’t yet succeeded!” He repeated this affirmation each time he seemed to fail and before long he had engrained the thought of success so powerfully into his subconscious that the habit fell away naturally and permanently.

Think of your mind as a child. It is following the well-worn grooves of past tendencies and doesn’t know any better. Create a vibrant path of light through positive thoughts and actions and the subconscious mind will follow suit.

Swamiji put a prayer of Saint Teresa of Avila’s to music, which I find very inspiring:

“Let nothing disturb you, nothing affright you, all things will pass but God changes not. Patient-endurance leads you to victory. Once you have God, you’ll want nothing more.”

Click below to listen: