Is this what it takes to cultivate Patience?


How often is it said that Patience is a virtue but it is not something that is easily maintained throughout the day. Patience is what I would like to accomplish yet it has not been on the top of my list until in recent months. I have been trying to make a conscious effort to take note of the times that I get frustrated and lose patience. The occasions have reduced significantly partly because I spend more time with myself and therefore can maintain being peaceful and serene. I was rather pleased with myself until…

I have a lot of dealings with old folks, in the past and the present, and they do test your patience. It could not be helped that they get forgetful and repeat things over and over again, sometimes everyday. Now that communication means are so easily available, there is no where to hide without causing some upsets. So you get calls day and night. They have no regard for the number of times they call you or consideration for your availability. Sometimes, I wish I could be firm enough to tell them to back off but I know I won’t.

My parents have an issue with our maid and we are in the process of terminating her services. My father has been picking every single small issue and complains daily. The maid has been working for us for 3 years now and the problems started surfacing some 6 months ago. The complaining started. At first it was weekly or as and when a problem arises then it gets more frequent. Ask what they wanted to get done about it, both my parents have different views and refused to make any decision. So the complaining continues more frequently and intensely.

Talking about complexities of human relationships, this one tops everything else, at least in my experience. When you have misalignment of expectations, sensitiveness, unsubstantiated assumptions and accusations and poor communications where can there be peaceful co-existence? The main problem is old folks are obviously unwilling or not open to reflect and consider changes and maids, generally not angels either, do not see why they need to be accommodative to their employers’ eccentricities.

Being a rather objective person, I tried to put things into perspective but was frequently being accused of taking sides. Rationally, I understand that old folks just wanted to vent their frustrations onto a listening ear but there is only so much one can take and emotionally, on the receiving end, it posts a big problem for me. It gets to me each time in spite of my attempts to brace myself for it. I get frustrated because even with the decision made to let the maid go and while waiting for the maid to depart, I continue to be barraged with past and new misdeeds (I have 2 more weeks before we say goodbye to the maid and it feels like a long wait!).

It gets to the point that I want an escape to somewhere where no phone calls can reach me. I maintain my physical distance by limiting my visits to my parents for fear of getting myself upset unnecessarily. I know it sounded mean but I need to preserve my sanity. These are the times I repeatedly asked myself, “Patience where are you? When will you stay on permanently?“. Meditation helps tremendously until the next phone call comes in. Is this the ultimate test in cultivating patience, I wonder.

The new maid will arrive in 2 weeks. I sincerely hope she would bring on some peace then I can relax and be my peaceful self again.