What do patience, grace, and desire have in common? Together, they weave the fabric that will envelop you with joy and inner peace or suffering and turmoil. How you play out these three vital virtues each day will determine the quality of your life and how in or out of alignment with life you are. This essay will offer guidance and inspiration to help you tap into the power of these three virtues and work with them in the most effective of ways for your personal wellbeing.
Life is composed of moments that string together our desires, choices, and outcomes. Each day, we wake up, we envision what we want or how things may play out, and we proceed with our day via innumerable choices. The outcomes we experience, however, are varied and usually unpredictable in many ways.
Thanks to our leading-edge sciences and explorations about the nature of reality, we can learn about the process of conscious life creation to improve our quality of life and minimize the unpredictability factor. This is where the concept of mindfulness plays the starring role. The more we infuse it into every area of our lives—every thought, word, and action—the more our outcomes reflect our desires. We simply become better at understanding and foreseeing the interplay between specific choices and their resulting consequences.
Yet sometimes, despite our best intentions and our most mindful efforts things will not go the way we desire them to. Sometimes things will catch us off guard and leave us surprised, confused, and perhaps even frustrated, if not outright angry. This is when we are most humbly reminded that we live with billions of other beings on a planet within a galaxy that offers the gift of, perhaps, infinite influences! These influences are always interacting and, depending on how you understand the nature of reality, coming together in specific or random ways. Either way, it helps to equip ourselves with beneficial practices. This is where learning to balance the virtues of patience, grace, and desire in your life will make all the difference in the quality of your life and personal state of inner peace.
As the saying goes, timing often is everything. In our day-to-day interactions, when things don’t go the way we may have hoped, we are all too often quick to judge or jump to false conclusions. In the process we create a lot of unnecessary suffering and drama. We have within our reach, however, another option: patience. This virtue is one of many, that it often takes entire lifetimes to excel at; it is a continuous journey and not a final point of perfection. Patience usually goes hand in hand with other virtues like hope, faith, and trust. How you use these together will all depend on your unique beliefs and perceptions about yourself and life. Imagine the difference in life quality of the person who lives with the belief that everything always works out for their best versus the person who lives with the belief that life is hard or unfair.
Ultimately, patience is a choice and the balance between patience and desire is what requires our attention in order to live with ease and inner peace. Your desires may be just about to manifest, don’t sabotage your efforts prematurely. This does not mean that we should sit by passively and do nothing, but it also does not mean that we should act out impulsively or flood the space with negativity when things don’t happen as, or when, we expect them to. The more we connect with our inner guidance system, the more we will know when to act, when to release, and when to exercise patience.
Accept with Grace
In many life scenarios there is nothing to wait for, the result is what it is, staring us straight in the face. It is then that our level of acceptance will be the determining factor in whether we subject ourselves to suffering or not. If the result is desirable, the response is often straightforward, although I would still invite you to be mindful of how you accept the particular situation. If nothing more, be sure to infuse into it as much gratitude as you can, as this can further help you align with your future desires.
If the result is undesirable, it is then that we are met with some of our greatest challenges. The most common reaction is to resist what is; attacking or denying it, or falling into a negative spiral of thoughts and emotions. But such experiences are the pivotal points in our lives and offer unprecedented opportunities for personal transformation. It doesn’t matter if it is the smallest, most trivial thing or a major life experience. How we respond in any of these cases makes all the difference to our wellbeing and quality of life. You may not like what occurred, but can you find it within yourself to accept it with grace? If you can, the situation instantly begins to lose its power over you, fears begin to melt away, and you begin your transition out of victimhood.
Accepting with grace is a choice available to all; it is not an option reserved for a select few. Each moment presents us with new opportunities. Each moment you and I have the choice to choose brand new; choosing new thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs that will lead to new words, actions, and outcomes. Each moment gifts us the unique opportunity to start fresh and choose a new desire. Embody the virtue of grace to experience your alignment with life, where living with inner peace comes naturally.
Move Forward with New Desire
In some spiritual traditions desire is made out to be a negative aspect of our human nature. Many devotees dedicate their entire lives to shedding themselves of all desire. From my experience, however, it is not desire in and of itself that is at the root of our suffering. Rather, it is our inability to see past a particular desire. Desire can be a wonderful virtue that ignites within us the element of creativity and connects us to the very essence of life. When we interact with our desires in mindful, liberated, and playful ways, we are capable of creating great joy and good. However, when we attach ourselves to our desires and become identified through them, it is then that we set ourselves up for imminent suffering.
The second aspect that will determine whether desires work for or against us is their origin. Desires that come from a very narrow or limited way of thinking are usually not in alignment with our personal needs or the greater good. Coherent desires come from a conscious, heart-influenced mind. To create such desires, we must first connect with our inner Self. We must know what is in alignment with our Being/Soul/Spirit, or however you choose to see it, and our spiritual evolution needs.
Therefore, we can increase the probability of experiencing a particular result or outcome in our lives by first choosing our desires mindfully. Second, we must stay detached, flexible, and buoyant. This, as you may already know, is a lifelong process that we get to practice and perfect on pretty much a daily basis. When a certain desire does not produce the intended result, as mentioned above, we have a choice: a choice to suffer and resist what is or a choice to accept what is with grace and move forward with a new desire, such as a new plan of action. And it is in the latter part that lies our liberation to live and experience all facets of life, rather than become imprisoned by illusory limitations that are frequently created by our mind.
You have an infinitely creative mind. You have the power and ability to create your life. Seize that potential by connecting to and aligning yourself to life’s sacred balance!