All I can say is thank the Universe that we don’t have to buy a new car every year. We had to sell the husband’s old truck several years ago when we took jobs in Alaska, and functioned pretty well on one car when we came to Florida. Now that we are back full time, we had to put on our purple patience panties and go truck shopping.
I swear, car salesmen can smell you coming. Some are definitely better than others, but you don’t always know who or what you are going to get. The one who thinks you need a Hummer when you are a Ford pickup kind of guy. The one who thinks you are less of a human for wanting a used car. The one who tells you that he thinks you are a cheap bastard (in the kindest words possible) because you don’t want to play the haggle game and continue to be emotionally sucked dry by the “work with me” pleads. Or the one who truly likes to sell cars and reasonably shows you what they got. We experienced all four in our great truck hunt.
I tell the husband all the time (and fully prepped him in this case) to put on his purple patience panties. He gives me “that look”, and proceeds to tell me he has all the patience in the world. But both he and I know that it is quite the opposite. With no patience comes curt words, an exasperated tone of voice, rudeness, body tension, and high blood pressure.
It is difficult to have patience in this day and age. Everyone is in a hurry, wants more, wants it better, to get there quicker, and more efficiently. Sometimes we want that thing that is causing distress (ahem, divorce, anyone?) to just go away sooner rather than later because it comes with its own anxiety and stress-related side effects.
But all this does is put a heavy burden on, or adds to the burden of, your mental and physical health. Your adrenal glands kick into high gear as cortisol shoots through your body, and when your adrenals get accustomed to always being in a high alert state, they start to manifest disease in your body. Anxiety becomes your new “normal”.
Being aggressive, pushy, and intolerant has you swimming against the current as you try to force control over an out-of-your-control situation. The desire to control is why anger and frustration surfaces, and you start behaving in congruence to how you feel. However, no matter how poorly you behave, or how worked up you get, you are not going to vaporize the sleaze from the car dealership experience. You aren’t going to make the traffic in front of you magically evaporate so you get home faster. You aren’t going to convince the ex spouse to agree to the settlement that you believe is most fair.
Being patient aligns you with the Universe. It keeps you moving in the right direction, even if only at 5 mph, but in the end, the experience keeps all your body systems happy and healthy. Sometimes patience allows for other opportunities that you don’t recognize because you are too busy trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
Next time you find yourself heading into a situation that is going to test your patience, try this:
1. Put on your purple patience panties. Or maybe they are red. Paisley? Sometimes just having a corny visual helps prep you mentally for what’s to come.
2. Take the time to do some deep breathing. We don’t do enough of this as is. Deep breathing, filling up your diaphragm AND lungs, cleanses your mind and gives your body a stress break.
3. Find a few things to be grateful for in the situation. I am grateful for jobs that allow us to afford a new-used car. I am grateful that when stuck in traffic, I am not involved in an accident or broken down on the side of the road. During the time of my divorce, I was grateful for the support of a few friends that really came through for me and helped me move.
4. Take the time to learn something new. If waiting tries your patience, fill up your iPod with educational podcasts that are of interest, and improve your knowledge and/or skills.
5. Dealing with someone who is a thorn in your side? Remind yourself that their issues are not yours, and their behavior is not personal to you. It may seem like it, but they are really responding in accordance with their own baggage. The pushy sales guy? He is trying to earn a living. Maybe he has 10 kids at home that he needs to support. I thank the Universe I don’t have 10 kids!