It is Saturday afternoon and I have been sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for nearly a half hour. A few neon orange signs tried to warn me that construction on this specific highway was looming my way, but I decided to forge ahead to find myself at a complete standstill. I had hit a roadblock.
As I glance in my rear view mirror, I see a woman totally exasperated that our vehicles are all temporarily sharing a three lane parking lot. She pounds her fists on the steering wheel and starts honking her horn as if this behavior will magically change the reality of our situation.
I prefer to make my situation less frenzied, as I realize that clenched jaw muscles and raging stress hormone levels will only lead to a road that will have negative consequences on my well-being. Instead, I focus on the exact words my Mom has spoken to me since I was very young, “Patience is a virtue.”
To say that our patience has been tested to our very core this year, resonates with every human being on our planet. We have been faced with more discomfort and inconvenience than we ever thought possible in our lifetime. But, with every challenging obstacle, there comes a lesson that can help us to function better. We can start practicing mindfulness and exercising more patience in our day to day activities. We can pause and breathe into a situation and not resist. There is also that very valuable “split second” where we can choose what we do next before reacting.
Maybe this particular traffic jam was put in my way because I needed to slow down or simply tune up my lack of skills in this area of my life. Whatever the purpose, I feel grateful that I am able to recognize that there is always room for improvement.
As our speedometers start gaining momentum, and the open road reveals itself, the woman behind me flails her arms one last time. I, on the other hand, can safely travel forward, knowing that self-control and restraint kept me company when I needed them most. Peace will be mine for the rest of the day.