Exercising Patience for Peace with Tara Bench
In today’s world, patience is a virtue that seems to be diminishing. We have access to everything so rapidly. Every situation has a quick fix. Even waiting in the drive-thru feels like an imposition. But patience is an important attribute of a peacemaker. God has told us to “be still and know that I am God.” Perhaps we should take the time to slow down and be still, and even though that can be uncomfortable, what can we learn about patience as we make that effort?
Hard experiences are around every corner, and we can spend our lives waiting to get through those hard experiences, or we can choose do something about those trials.
Tara Bench and Kathryn discuss the attribute of a peacemaker which is patience. Tara lives in New York City and shares her spirit and faith through her blog Tara Teaspoon.
Top Takeaways from this episode
- Being still is choosing to be in tune with our Heavenly Father.
- Patience and receiving it is actionable. We don't have to wait for problems to get better, but can develop the tools we need to be more patient.The Savior is our ultimate example of charity in how he responded to others. He rallies around people to bring them up rather than push them down.
- Patience is not about waiting or enduring something painfully. It's about having the capacity to wait while not being upset, and instead trusting the Lord.
- Sometimes a good way to step outside ourselves when we are feeling a lack of patience is to ask how we can serve others and find joy in our lives.
- Challenges can teach us that we have loving heavenly parents and that we are developing patterns of patience in this life.
Small & Simple Challenge
This week, stop and take a step back in a moment of pain to say a prayer and ask for help through a situation. Give yourself validation and grace in whatever you are going through.
Kathryn Davis 0:00
Have you ever wondered what it means to have more patients? What if we turned our efforts into receiving patients by letting God work in us? Hi, and welcome to magnify and LDS Living podcast where we cheer inspire and embolden each other as women and followers of Jesus Christ, we hope to use our influence to make a difference in the world. I'm your host, Kathryn Davis, a mom, a seminary teacher, and a grilling enthusiast who loves God. In today's world, patience is really a virtue that seems to be diminishing, we have access to everything so rapidly, there is a quick fix every situation we are in. Even waiting in the drive thru feels like an imposition. But patience is an important attribute of a peacemaker. God has told us to be still and know that I am God. Perhaps we should take the time to slow down and be still. And even though that can be uncomfortable. What can we learn about patience as we make that effort? Here to discuss this attribute with me is Tara Bench. Tara, I'm so excited to have you here today.
Tara Bench 1:08
Thanks. Thanks for having me. I am too.
Kathryn Davis 1:10
I think it's going to be such a fun conversation. But can I throw a couple rapid fire questions at you before we begin? I'd love it. So you work in the food industry and create different recipes all the time. So for you, are you more of a dessert girl? Or a salty savory meal girl?
Tara Bench 1:31
Oh, good question. I couldn't give up either. But I would definitely say of either, I'm a sweet girl.
Kathryn Davis 1:38
Tara Bench 1:40
Chocolate chip cookies.
Kathryn Davis 1:41
Tara Bench 1:42
Kathryn Davis 1:45
So good. Okay, I know you've shared your story a lot. But what was the inspiration that really got you into the food business?
Tara Bench 1:55
Probably my mom, I loved cooking. With My Mom, when I was little I loved being in the kitchen with her. I loved the results of sharing food with people. And growing up doing that with my mom and grandmothers and family is what probably solidified that love for me.
Kathryn Davis 2:13
You know, can I just say on a side note, I remember your mom is a little adventurous with food. Because when we were in Israel, and we were at this buffet, I was kind of right behind her in line. Oh, I don't know what that is. I don't know if I should eat that. And she's like, Kathryn, you need to try this. And you need to try this. And she got me tasting things that I wouldn't have normally. And I love that for her.
Tara Bench 2:35
That is great. I think that's the fun thing about traveling and going to different places, is trying new things, whether you like it or not just a little nibble just to see what these different things are that people enjoy in different parts of the world.
Kathryn Davis 2:50
So what is your favorite part about living in New York City?
Tara Bench 2:54
Oh, my favorite part is just the energy and the diversity. I think both of those things make New York City so unique and so enjoyable, is there's just constant energy. And just the uniqueness of the people and the things around you the culture. I love it.
Kathryn Davis 3:15
Well, I am hoping today that we can have a unique conversation, that would be great, because we are going to continue talking about President Nelson's landmark address, peacemakers needed. And one of the attributes he talked about for being a peacemaker is patience. And I think we talk about this all the time. And so this is why I want to have a unique conversation so that maybe we can dig into it a little deeper. But I want to start with how would you define patience?
Tara Bench 3:46
You know, that's interesting. Instead of being a dictionary, I thought about this and thought, you know, patience, to me is a responsibility. It's part of that gift of agency that we have its patience is a choice we get to make. And it's to me an action and a process. I think often we become impatient when we're in pain, or when we have those emotions of pain, like frustration or sadness or anger, doubt when we feel like we're not enough. And those things can be inevitably painful. But how nice is it to know that in that pain, we're being overseen by a loving Heavenly Father, who knows our potential and our worth and He knows our pain, and He knows our fears. And he's so distinctly aware of us. A reminder of that knowledge helps us to choose to be more sophisticated in our awareness. And could that awareness translate to patient I think patients in ourselves and with others. So then to me patience becomes an act of Being more Christ, like patience is striving to see ourselves and others as he does. It's a long definition. But I think patience is so actionable.
Kathryn Davis 5:12
So patience is more of a practice, I think. So it's something we choose. And I think we're often told to have more patience or to be patient in a situation that we are waiting on. I think I'm told that a lot, be patient, be patient answers will come, blessings will come. But I think sometimes we have to follow the counsel of the Lord, where he says, Be still and know that I am God. So I think patience can come when we are still and we can let ourselves receive it, which is different than just having.
Tara Bench 5:49
Yes. Isn't that interesting? Receiving is still actionable. Relieving is still that that movement? It's not just doing nothing?
Kathryn Davis 5:58
So how do you think being still can help us receive patience, not just have it, but receive it?
Tara Bench 6:06
Receiving? That's a good question, I think being still is choosing a way to be in tune with our Heavenly Father. I think that looks different every time. Through each trial, through each moment that we choose to be still, sometimes, we're being still in the midst of chaos. I mean, I live in New York City being still is sometimes a really hard thing to do. Sometimes I can be still on a busy subway. And it's just choosing to think in a different way, or to say a little prayer, or to have that prayer in my heart where I am turning to my Heavenly Father. I think sometimes turning to our Heavenly Father is that choice to be still. That's what it is for me. And then you're in a place where you can receive. Because if we're not choosing to be still to turn ourselves to our Heavenly Father, how can we receive?
Kathryn Davis 7:09
Well, Tara, I think that's an interesting correlation. Because you live in a very busy world, right? And we all do, I think our world is becoming more and more busy, there's always noise, there's always something to do. There's always something similar to be we also have seen that patience is not an attribute many display or have. And maybe because we're so busy, we're less patient?
Tara Bench 7:38
Right? That is a really, yeah, interesting thing. We're so busy. I mean, people have children running around them. People have appointments on their calendar that can't be missed. People have jobs they have to go to and money that has to be earned, and it gets overwhelming. Sometimes that stillness is really hard to find.
Kathryn Davis 7:59
So it's actively trying to choose a time to be still for you on the subway, do you do that? Often? Do you take a moment on the subway to be still?
Tara Bench 8:10
You know, I think it's a conscious effort. A lot of times for me, it's just not putting in headphones, or it's not turning on music while I'm working in my office, things like that. Because there's only so many ways I can find stillness or find that moment. And so yes, sometimes on the subway is just sitting in silence with a lot of stuff going on around me. It's just choosing those moments to not take in something else. And that's my way of finding some sort of stillness where I can have that moment of thought or prayer. And sometimes I don't choose to have that thought or prayer. But it's that opportunity that I give myself. And I think that's my way of saying, Okay, this is my chance. This is my opportunity that gives that opening to receive or to commune with my Heavenly Father.
Kathryn Davis 9:12
So can you think of a specific time where you really needed peace in your life?
Tara Bench 9:18
Let's see, I can think of about a million. Right. Right.
Kathryn Davis 9:23
But can you think of a time where you needed peace and by being still? Were you able to find that piece? or receive that piece?
Tara Bench 9:35
Yes, I can think of a few times when I pled with my Heavenly Father for peace. When I felt so much pain in something that had happened in my life, or a loss, whether it was a death or grief or pain of some sort that I was going through. And you know, what I found is it didn't Always come directly. Again, like what I said before is it took a lot of action on my part. It took me being aware enough of those prayers that I was saying it took me being vulnerable to go to somebody else and ask for help, or ask for a priesthood blessing. It took me maybe changing the words of my prayer to say, How can I help myself? How can I look outside of myself to find joy in my situation, because this is really hard and painful, and I don't want to wallow in my trials. I find, for me, trials aren't about being patient and waiting for, you know, peace to come. It's funny, Kathryn, I'm done with waiting, I found that I waited a lot in my life. And things just don't happen. Like the things that I expected or wanted don't just come or happen. And so it's not about being still and being patient. So, you know, patience. The definition is the capacity to accept delay, trouble or suffering, without getting angry or upset. That definition isn't about the capacity to not be angry while not doing anything. And so I've had to change my prayers and say, okay, Heavenly Father, I'm in pain, what can I choose? That will help me move through this in a way that you want me to? Or that in a way that I could see how to choose joy. And that's what I think President Nelson is inviting us to do in his talk. He gives us so many actionable things. He says be peacemakers. Choose reconciliation, love others. He says Build, lift, encourage, persuade, inspire, no matter what your situation is. And so those to me are ways to move through those painful situations.
Kathryn Davis 12:09
So you said you're done with waiting?
Tara Bench 12:13
Yes, it's just it's painful to wait.
Kathryn Davis 12:18
It is painful to wait. Right?
Tara Bench 12:20
I don't want to choose that optional pain anymore. We have enough inevitable pain in our lives, we will always have trials.
Kathryn Davis 12:29
What would you call it, then for somebody who's waiting for a promise blessing or waiting for an answer to prayer or waiting for a healing or anything to happen? What would you say to somebody who's feeling like they're stuck in this waiting?
Tara Bench 12:47
That's a hard thing to feel like you're stuck. And I have learned that, you know, hard experiences are around every corner. And we can spend our lives waiting. But I get to choose to learn how to maneuver through those waiting periods. And those hard experiences, every time I'm faced with them, they aren't going to go away. They don't necessarily get easier or less painful. But my capacity to be patient, or charitable or more Christlike while moving through them might get stronger. If I'm more aware, or asking or actually taking those steps to strengthen my relationship with God or strengthen my relationship with others around me. That's what I mean by not waiting, because there's no reason to just sit and wait. Does that make sense? Of course, we want things to happen. But our our invitation from our prophet from our God is to move forward.
Kathryn Davis 13:53
So Tara, I want to ask you if you can think of a specific example of where you were waiting, but you move forward because this principle of, of waiting. We believe in a fourth watch God, right when the apostles were on the Sea of Galilee, and they were trying to row to the shore, and there was wind and rain and they were having a hard time getting there. And we know that Jesus was standing and saw them. And they rode all night all through the first second third, until the fourth watch, which is which is about three to six in the morning. And it was in that fourth watch that Jesus came and stilled the storm. And we see so many examples of Christ's coming in the fourth watch. In so many scripture stories like with the widow of Zarephath, why was it her last meal? Her very last meal. That answers and guidance came. I just I think this principle of waiting is important. And it's something that God is asking us to do. I want a first watch God, I want a God who will answer immediately. But often it's not until the fourth watch. And so how do you move forward? In those times? Where maybe the answers or the blessings or whenever don't come when you want them?
Tara Bench 15:27
Or? And may I add to that, or the answers aren't what we, as humans expect? Maybe they're a different answer. He's going to tell us something we didn't expect, or want, or want. Yeah, or or think we wanted, right, or, and right. When that answer comes, we'll be like, oh, right, I see that. I have a few examples. Thanks for asking that. I think one is, professionally, I own my own business. And it's very hard. Sometimes I feel like, I work in a vacuum, it's, I have to wear all the hats in my business. And it's not always successful. And I feel like, I could be waiting a lot, I could be waiting for my business to be successful in a lot of ways. Sometimes, there are blessings in my business. And I get remuneration for the hard work that I've put in. And I have successes. But a lot of times I think, Oh, my goodness, I have been waiting, working so hard. And I've been waiting for this success, and it's not coming. And I am not getting maybe the rewards, or the outcome that I want, or that I need, you know, to move forward or succeed. And that is a constant for me with work, and I am having to learn as I go patience in that trial. And it's not going to change for me, I'm constantly having to learn more patients. But then on a more personal notes, I'm not married, I don't have children. That's been a long wait. And I may not, and that will be a lifelong wait. It may happen in another life, you know. And that is something that I don't want to wait forever for, you know, my voice is getting a little shaky, because that's a hard wait. That's a hard Wait for a lot of people. A lot of people are married, but can't have children, or are waiting on having a family. A lot of people are waiting to have a happy marriage or relationship or waiting to get out of a hard relationship and don't know how to navigate that. Or in a painful situation, and are scared to move forward into something new, or be alone again, there are so many circumstances where there are waiting periods.
Kathryn Davis 18:10
So what are actionable steps that you choose to take to increase patience in what you're waiting for?
Tara Bench 18:19
Sometimes it's saying, what is the truth in my situation? I have to give myself a little validation, you hear a lot a give yourself grace, right? We hear that phrase? What does that mean? It means to understand you're going through something hard. And to kind of give yourself credit, right to say, oh, yeah, this is hard. And this is painful. And like I said earlier, ask people for help ask people for that validation and say, Hey, I'm going through something really hard. Can you kind of sit with me in this pain for a little bit, but then Don't wallow in it? You know, say, hey, maybe let's figure out a way to serve others or to look outside of myself. So that's what I mean by when I find that I'm wallowing in my pain. I use that term when I'm sitting in my pain. And I just keep getting more sad. Then I say okay, what can I do to step out of myself? Is there an action I can take? Is there an activity I can do? That gets me out of this sitting? And so that's how I actually become more patient with myself and with my situation is I look for other things to do I look for other ways to serve. I say how can I be better at my calling and church? How can I look for things and activities to do around me that bring me joy starts for me with giving myself grace and saying, Yeah, this is painful? And how can I take steps to find joy in my life?
Kathryn Davis 20:07
Because this time can either hurt you, or it can heal you. Absolutely. And it's allowing God to come into those moments and receiving patients choosing to receive patience.
Tara Bench 20:23
I love that. It's so true. And I think part of that validating yourself is to go to your Heavenly Father and to strengthen that relationship and say, Hey, Heavenly Father, this is hard. Will you sit with me in this as well? That's part of the Atonement. He's felt that and he is with you in those moments.
Kathryn Davis 20:44
That's so good, Tara, because I think sometimes we want the answers right now, like I talked about before, we want that first God watch. We want him to answer on the first watch. But so often, it's not he doesn't answer our problems right now. Because I think, really, if patience is truly an attribute of Jesus Christ to be peacemakers, what would we learn? If he answered every time immediately? We live in a world with immediate answers. Everything can be found at our fingertips or asked Siri or asked Google and we're not used to waiting. But in a talk in 2020, Elder Jaggi gave this talk called let patience, have her perfect work and counted all joy. He said this in our efforts to find joy in the midst of our trials, we had forgotten that having patience is the key to letting those trials work for our good. Do you just have talked a lot about finding joy in your trials? But isn't it interesting that he said, patience is the key for letting all those trials work for our good? Have you seen or experienced where any of the trials you've had in your life, through patients have worked together for your good?
Tara Bench 22:05
You know? Sure, I think Hindsight is 2020. Trials are so hard, right? We look back and we say, oh my goodness, I never want to do that again. But of course, we have more trials and things are around the corner. For me, sometimes it's hard to look back at trials and say, oh, yeah, I can see the silver lining in that. Sometimes I don't want to address those trials. Again, I don't want to think about them. But as a whole, we move through life. And yes, I can look back and say, Okay, what have I learned? And honestly, I look back and I say I've learned to move through life, knowing that I will always have challenges, and that I can turn to God, and that I can turn to others that I trust. And I've learned patterns of moving through my challenges and my hard times. So a specific trial, perhaps not but patterns. Absolutely. But I love that you brought that talk up and and I love Elder Jaggi said in that talk that his family made a conscious decision to choose joy. And I love that because I'm all about that action. Right? They've talked about it. They made a decision to choose joy. It was a choice. It wasn't just like, oh, you know, let's just have this perfect experience. And he had talked about how they'd lost somebody in their family. And so they were going to, you know, be joyful about it. No, it's really hard. They had to make that conscious decision. And that's also really hard.
Kathryn Davis 23:44
Well, and I think it's so interesting when Elder Jaggi goes on to say, when we exercise patience, our faith increases. As our faith increases, so does our joy. So he chose joy. But it came from exercising patience. Right? Interesting that patience can increase our joy.
Tara Bench 24:07
Yes. And it's easier said than done. Right? Much easier said they can talk about this. But then, you know, in a week, we're gonna have a really hard experience. And we're gonna say, Oh, what was that podcast we listened to the other day that they made it sound so easy.
Kathryn Davis 24:24
Well, and, and I think sometimes we overlook how important the act of patience is, in our trials that we choose it and I just even know a few years ago, my husband was going through some pretty serious medical issues. And it was hard. It was hard on me it was hard on the family. And I kept wanting answers. I kept wanting healing and I kept praying and praying and praying for healing and it didn't come and and so finally I asked for a blessing and in that blessing, I was supposed Typically told it's time to surrender, surrender to the Lord. And I'm not very good at that I had to learn. In fact, this was in December, and the new year started in January. And I always like to pick a year, a word to focus on for the year. And so that year, my word was surrender. Like, how can I surrender it because I try and fix everything, and it'll be fine. And, and I just had to surrender and choose stillness, choose peace. And as I chose peace, my faith increased and my ability to find joy in the little things did increase. It didn't make my days easier. But I felt like I was able to find more peace in some hard moments. And answers still didn't come. No, luckily. Right. But I just think sometimes can we learn? Can we consciously choose to surrender? And I think that's what Elder Jaggi said, is that to exercise patience, and our faith and our joy will increase.
Tara Bench 26:12
Yes, that that capacity, right? It's that practice, it doesn't mean our trials go away. But it becomes faster and easier for us to move through those things that we've just practiced, right, our capacity to choose joy in those life circumstances. Yeah, what an interesting word to choose. Because surrendering to the Lord's really hard because I know you and I are both doers, right? We're choosing this we're doing that we're jumping in. And it's really hard to surrender.
Kathryn Davis 26:45
I love that's why you said I'm done waiting. Because that just speaks to my soul. But I think there are things we can choose to do and still surrender. I don't think it's an either or. No, you're right. Because how you describe that earlier, which I loved. It wasn't a either or, like I'm done waiting. But I'm still going to surrender and move through and ask Heavenly Father What I can do to move through this?
Tara Bench 27:15
Yes, waiting seems so passive seems so, "I give up."
Kathryn Davis 27:19
Right. So patience, sometimes when we talk about it, we talk about it in this passive way. Yes. But I love how you're saying it's not passive. It's an action.
Tara Bench 27:30
It's so active. Yes, you're right.
Kathryn Davis 27:33
So have you seen peace come into your life when you received and exercised patience in this way?
Tara Bench 27:41
You know, I'm a New Yorker... patience, I don't consider myself patient person. But you'd be there. But yes, like, if I've ever achieved patience, absolutely. I think there's peace with that. It's almost I see it as taking a step back. That's how I envision patience in my life, when I see myself stopping, taking a step back, and not reacting. That's when I see myself as finding patients in a situation. And I often feel peace in in those situations. And that can come in a work situation, when I want to react. And I'll say, Stop, let me like, think about this. And instead of quickly reacting, I find that patience, and then I feel that peace, or in a situation with family. You know, just last week with a situation with family, I had to say stop, let me think about this and not react. And then I was able to move forward. And you feel that peace, and so you can move forward in a more loving way. You're not always perfect. We're human beings. But it's that piece that helps you move forward.
Kathryn Davis 29:02
Have you felt like the Lord's helped you in that?
Tara Bench 29:07
I think so. I think the Lord has helped me when I have asked, I think the Lord helps me all the time. That I love that I noticed that when I asked. And then like you mentioned earlier, when we are open to receiving we received that and we notice it.
Kathryn Davis 29:25
So good. I just love this idea of practicing peace and practicing patients. And truly, if we're trying to become more like Him, which is why we're here. We have to just try and try and and it's not a passive thing. Choose patients, right like it's a choice I can make. Tara I have loved talking with you today about peace in a whole different way. I am looking at peace in a different way than I ever have before.
Tara Bench 29:58
It's been so fun to hear you perspective and your knowledge about it. Thanks.
Kathryn Davis 30:02
So fun. But before I let you go, we always like to do a small and simple challenge, something we can focus on through the week. So what would be your small and simple challenge to help us learn to choose to receive patience?
Tara Bench 30:23
I would say a challenge would be to do what I just mentioned, to say stop and to step back, and to take a moment to either say a little prayer to ask Heavenly Father to help you through a situation, or to even give yourself some validation or some grace in a situation. But to take a moment of pause when you feel like you're in turmoil.
Kathryn Davis 30:53
I love that and to practice receiving and receiving people. Awesome. Thank you so much, Tara. So fun to talk to you.
Tara Bench 31:03
Kathryn Davis 31:08
Thanks for being here. And hop on over to Instagram at magnify community for more inspiration and conversation. And of course, subscribe and listen to the Magnify podcast wherever you get your shows. Let's meet up again next week.