You know, you actually want something to happen right away, but it doesn’t, and there’s not much you can do about it. So, you clench your fists and accept the situation resentfully and disappointedly. This is called choking back.
Patience also isn’t about putting up with those who attack and annoy you because you don’t want to cause friction. This is called not knowing how to value yourself. It’s not even about holding your tongue in the name of “virtue” when someone burns you with their words, making you smolder. This is deceiving yourself. You’re just aiming your flames at yourself instead of those who anger you. You’re roasting yourself, and you don’t even realize it. This is also not about patience, because you will eventually let out a scream, regretting it when you get reactions like, “Oh, you’re usually so tolerant. Why did you do that now?” You’ll realize then if it really was patience or not…
Patience is a cognitive state. It’s the state of knowing that everything needs time and everything’s going to be fine when the right time comes. A baby needs a certain period of gestation before being born. Would you really want to remove the fetus during the fourth month of pregnancy, just because you’re too impatient to see the baby? Would you expect to see a plant growing the day after you’ve planted the seed or hear a three-month-old baby speak? There are many examples, but the result is always the same: There needs to be time for things to ripen and get ready to happen. Knowing this process and letting it be is what patience really is. You don’t stand over the seed you’ve just planted to make it grow faster. A pregnant woman doesn’t lie on her bed for nine months straight, waiting for the birth to start, does she? No, of course not! Life keeps flowing, and in the blink of an eye, you then find your seeds are ripe and ready to go. Patience is the name of this sorcery.
The same goes for our spiritual seeds and saplings as well. If you constantly press yourself by saying, “C’mon, grow into a tree already. A couple of fruits wouldn’t be bad either. Look, you have great potential, okay? So come on now, c’mon!” To make matters worse, shaking it like a mulberry tree will just end up hurting it. Instead, watering it, talking to it, and taking care of it will produce better results. It’s like the flower beds of my late grandma. She would water and talk to her flowers every day. You wouldn’t believe how beautiful they would become over time. The same principle goes for our souls as well. Everything—including our relationships, occupations, communication skills, financial situations, spiritual development, and so on—needs time to ripen, and we’ll find them to be all fine and dandy when the right time comes…
There’s actually another cognitive state as regards relationships. For example, say someone is infuriating, annoying, or attacking you, but you know they do it because they “don’t know.” However, in order for you to grow into that insight, you should be in that “cognitive state,” and this is not a very easy thing to do. People usually think they “know” something, and they comfort themselves by despising other people for their “ignorance.” This is a defense mechanism rather than patience. If you’re in a “cognitive state,” you won’t even raise an eyebrow to anyone, let alone despise them. You just know they too are a part of the source. They cannot live their true natures, so they suffer and try to protect themselves by attacking whoever is around them. You feel their pain and suffering inside yourself.
You know very well how the flame burns, because you too have been burned countless times before. But an icy stream starts to flow inside once you shift to this cognitive state. It cools the flames down at first, and then arrows come at you. The burning words of all those flaming arrows cool down in this current. From this point on, no flame can burn you. Peace and serenity captures all of your being and the stream presents you with a new life. Whatever was desolate in your inner garden starts flourishing with life. Just when you’ve become engrossed in the greens of your own garden, you realize the people who attacked you earlier have appeared right beside you. They want to enjoy the greenery as well and learn how to make their own streams flow…
Streams merge with other streams in due course to make rivers, and these rivers merge with the seas… the seas with the oceans… the oceans with their planets… the planets with their solar systems… the solar systems with their galaxies… the galaxies with their universes… the universes with the cosmic source of existence… In the end, existence merges into oneness…
Life is the name of this current, and patience is to know how to live by going with the flow of it…
Hasan Sonsuz Çeliktaş
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