It was one of those days. The kind of day when everyone needs you, kind of day. All you hear from the ends of every corner you try to hide in: “I need you, Mama!” And every time you get a moment of “alone-time” (which really is a figment of you imagination) the dog or cat come find you–and of course need to be pet or taken outside. So you literally want to scream! and of course catch the first plane to a secluded island of paradise, but you regain your senses and you grab a hold of the reins of your life: and you patiently respond: “Here I am. What do you need? How can I help you?”
I’m sure we’ve all had days and moments when it seems like no matter where we turn someone needs us or life is making us wait for something we hope will be better. Whatever these moments are like they require our patience. Patience: that ‘wonderful’ virtue that life tells us to work at each day…well that is if we want to.
“Patience (or forbearing) is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.” —Wikipedia
So as the day went on I did try and work at not being negative: I smiled, let my son climb all over me while I tried to type, played games, made dinner and all the usual housewife stuff with out getting angry at all…
Well, I guess I did show some frustration and raised my voice, a couple times. But I did wait it out until I got to boiling point—(which totally defeats the logic behind being patient). And then as quickly as I let it out, I put all those feelings of negativity and frustration aside and smiled again.
How are you with patience? Is it something easy or challenging for you?
When I used to go to work daily, I was really good at patience. I believed patience was defining of my character and I had to be flawless. No matter how rough or intense the situation was at work, I remained calm and serene. I credited myself for this virtue. And people affirmed my ability to be patient.
But the problem was, I was so patient at work, i.e., I had a really high endurance for staying positive and calm even when I was frustrated or overwhelmed, that I didn’t release any of these feelings (frustration, etc.) during the day. So the negative feelings would show up at home when I felt annoyed about a house chore or responsibility; and these feelings would be released in the communication between my husband and I. Which of course did not do wonders for our relationship.
Now that I have been away from my work environment for 8 months, I realize that although being patient at work was a virtue I prided myself on…I was not good at taking care of myself because I didn’t have a healthy outlet to release my exhaustion, frustration, or negativity that sometimes was welling up inside me while I was being patient. And I am reminded that I am still not really taking care of myself because I experience these negative feelings when I’m at home from time to time, and I’m still not always good at creating an outlet to release them.
Do you have a way to take care of yourself when you feel exhausted from being patient?
Today I’ve come to realize that I can offer patience over and over, and continue to put on my smile for everyone, but if I am not taking care of myself while being patient, then I am doing no one a service. When I start feeling frustrated or I get impatient: wanting things to change right then and there, I get down on myself. For example, I often get the idea that I should be able to be all these things: a patient worker, a patient mother, a patient wife, a patient caregiver, a patient believer, a patient follower, etc.
But as I’ve been writing this I realize I’m doing the best I can, right? So if I have the patience for other people to be imperfect and I have the patience to wait for them to figure things out shouldn’t I offer the same kind of patience to myself? WHY OF COURSE I SHOULD. So there’s a bit of wisdom I’ve discovered. Now I just need to act on it.
What about you? Are you good at being patient with yourself when life isn’t going exactly the way you want it to, or when you just can’t seem to get life right? Are you able to provide yourself with compassion and patience while you are working on healing or recovery? I’m going to work on all these things starting today.
We all deserve to love ourselves and one of the ways to do this is to offer ourselves the gift of patience. A gift of patience that says: “I’m not perfect, and there’s no way I can be. I am always healing, always learning, always growing…Learning to love myself and my life is an ongoing process every day.”
I truly believe that when we are patient with each other, and patient with ourselves: by allowing healing to take the time it needs to, by allowing ourselves to feel different emotions, and by allowing ourselves to take as much time to grow and develop as we need to, we will all be happier, healthier people. And Life in general will be a much more pleasant experience for us all.
So offer yourself the gift of patience. And be well.
…and as I finish this post my son is running around the house and playing his drums…breathe…”Patience is a Virtue.” Breathe again. Smile. Amen.
He finally went to sleep. Now I get to edit. And the house is quiet. I really worked at being patient with myself and my son today, and it seems to be paying off. And my husband was patient with me tonight too, and said, “Go ahead and work on your post” while I clean up after dinner. Wow! What a gift. I guess being patient does pay off sometimes!
Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
Be Patient with Yourself by Steve Pavlina
How to be Patient
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