Packing Patience for Our Disney World Trip

On Saturday we’re leaving for a seven-day vacation at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I’ve been there twice and one of the things I most remember is the horrific lines for the rides and attractions. So in planning the trip we’ve researched when the crowds are smallest and next week is among the least crowded. However Monday is Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday, so we’re not expecting to have the place to ourselves. Therefore along with our clothes and sundries I’m going to pack a lot of patience!

What exactly is patience? For my Disney World trip I’m considering it in it’s conventional sense as defined by Encarta as a capacity for waiting: the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties. Patience is a skill that we practice and the more we are able to endure without frustration the more patience we have.

But why do we allow ourselves to become annoyed with waiting or irate with difficulties in the first place? Why would these be things that bothers us at all? Because we look at life from the limited perspective of the personality or ego. The personality is the “lower” part of us that was made from the material available – Genesis two figuratively says it’s soil – and as such it’s a concrete form with a limited lifespan. It is the sense of self that most of us know and relate too. The personality unconsciously says “my time on this planet is short and I want to cram as much pleasure in as I can and this waiting around and these problems are interfering with that.” In addition the personality finds a perverse sense of pleasure in ranting, complaining and stewing over things such as long lines and problems.

We can develop an enlightened sense of patience when we realize that we’re more than this personality. We are the divine essence that breathed into this soil and created our life. We are the soul that uses the personality to express itself in this world. The soul is that “higher” part of us that is infinite, immortal, eternal and immaterial. It was never born and will never die. The soul incarnates in a personality, the personality, being material, wears out over time and the soul continues its work of expressing divinity through another personality.

As we identify with this inner essence our sense of urgency changes. We begin to view life from a wider or longer perspective. We see our part in the long evolution of humanity that started out in a primitive way focusing solely on physical survival to an increasingly more refined emotional, mental and spiritual (i.e. abstract) understanding. Imagine the striking difference between early man and our current ability to understand ourselves, the world, the universe and abstract qualities such as love, beauty, joy and freedom! Imagine how much more we’ll understand in the future!

With this awareness of our true self and the resulting broader perspective of life, time spent waiting in lines or facing obstacles can be dealt with calmly. In fact, much more positively, this perspective makes us realize that these things are perfect opportunities to express peace, tolerance and yes…patience. So look for me to try and be a shining beacon of patience among of sea of folks waiting to meet Mickey Mouse!

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One Response to “Packing Patience for Our Disney World Trip”  

  1. 1 janet

    Brendan, love the article about patience and how to get a good perspective on our annoyances of everyday living. So much time wasted on complaining and so much energy wasted on those types of emotions!! Thanks again for keeping it real.

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