Do you ever get frustrated in traffic or with other drivers or experience others drivers frustration at you? Or do you get frustrated when you have to wait, or things don't go as planned? As I said, In Asia, I noticed how friendly the roads were, which prompted this blog on exploring how to cultivate more peace and patience and less anger.
In Asia, despite the huge number of cars, motor bikes and trucks, the narrow roads and the lack of traffic signals or signs things seemed to run smoothly. There were lots of beeps which sounded like a friendly, 'I'm here' rather than an aggressive 'How dare you, get out of my way'.
On one trip we were traveling on a narrow winding road which became inaccessible due to road works and a bus travelling the other way. All the drivers of cars, bikes and buses and the road workers had to wait for about ten minutes. Everyone appeared to be waiting patiently and seemed to cooperate to get the bus through to unblock the road. No toots or trying to push thought. I was amazed at how the situation unfolded and thought about what might have happened at home.
I thought about the patience shown in this situation and recalled that patience is not just the ability to wait. As Joyce Meyer says 'patience is not an ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. And as David Allen says 'Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind'.
So what things help us with acceptance and developing a good attitude when things happen in a different order than the one we had in mind?
I like to try to remember the Dalai Lama's wise words when I am tempted to get frustrated when someone has a go at me when driving or when I have to wait. 'We often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, over-reacting to minor things, and sometimes taking things too personally.'These wise words help me to remember to have that calm acceptance and patient attitude when things go differently from what I expect! Which is a lot of the time.
When someone is angry with us on the road!
It is so easy to respond angrily back to a driving criticism or a toot with a toot back, a rude hand gesture or a barrage of abuse. As the Dalai Lama says we add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, over-reacting and taking things too personally.
So this is an opportunity to put our patience practices into use and break the habit of responding with anger to anger. You may want to refer to our previous blogs for a reminder. Remembering to acknowledge or feel the frustration, breathe and let go of the habit to react with criticism back and instead respond from that wise spot. Whatever comes up from that calm and patient spot will be best for our peace of mind and that of other drivers too.
When we have to wait
As I mentioned last week, I am not always such a patient waiter, although I am enjoying the challenge to develop a better attitude to waiting. Recently I was buying some socks for Father's Day and the elderly man serving me was having all sorts of problems with the computer price scanning and credit card machine. It was taking a long time and I was in a hurry. I watched my mind become frustrated and impatient. What to do? Breathe and be kind, encouraging and appreciative. Yay, we both got there in the end with our peace of mind undisturbed.
I find it really helpful to have my crocheting or a small knitting project on hand to help me when I am likely to become impatient. If I am travelling and know I will have a lot of waiting around or if I am waiting for others to get organised knitting really helps me to maintain a good attitude while waiting. I find it difficult to be frustrated and knit or crotchet at the same time! So, when appropriate I choose knitting.
Some things that may help when we are tempted to become impatient include...
Kind Regards and Best Wishes