The Importance of Patience
My husband and I had a discussion recently that made me aware of having a lack of patience. I’ve been under a lot of pressure and haven’t handled it that well.
According to Dictionary.com, patience is the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
I have realized that I am not a patient person in some situations. I get flustered and can be sharp. My natural gentleness evaporates.
My husband explains to me that “this is just you, so I overlook it.” While I appreciate his attempt to let it go, I felt several things at once.
Shame – I don’t want to hurt him or push him away, but obviously I have done so without even being fully aware of it. I felt bad that he felt pushed away and that I didn’t have more control or awareness.
Hurt – I wish he had told me how he felt as it was happening so I could get a handle on myself and change my behavior in the moment it was happening. I felt hurt that he did not give me that opportunity.
Desire – I want to do it differently and I want him to do it differently. I asked him, “How do I change if you do not help me see myself? If you are not completely honest with me?” I need him to communicate with me. This conversation opened the door to better communication, and I made the request that he let me know how I impact him when it is happening. That way I will be able to address how I am behaving and impacting him.
Love – I realize how much my husband loves me when I hear how he lets things go that are difficult for him. He accepts my flaws and wants the best for me. What is good is that he sees me as a whole person with both positives and negatives and he accepts my flaws. Because I love him, I want to find a way to be more balanced and less reactive, less overwhelmed, and less impatient.
We can lose patience in many areas. We can lose patience with others, as in my example above. We can lose patience with various conditions, such as improving our health or dealing with an illness.
Regardless, cultivating patience requires a perspective shift. Often it is as simple as changing a message we are giving to ourselves. In my case, for example, instead of feeling as if I am carrying a burden in my work, I need to tell myself that many magical connections are happening. It may feel as if I am slogging away all by myself, but actually, I am collaborating with a lot of people who are helping me. I remind myself that I am not stuck, but moving forward, even though it may feel slow and as if I am stuck. Shifting perspective allows our attitude to change.
One thing that helps me is knowing that I influence the world and the world influences me. So instead of seeing myself as impotent and stuck, I see myself as touching and being touched by the world around me.
When do you get impatient?
What do you tell yourself about your impatience?
What would help you with your patience?
Imagine everything is unfolding exactly as it should. Imagine that you are magic and have much more influence than you know. Our attitudes affect our bodies and our health. As we support our bodies, we can also support our emotions and attitudes.
Much of my writing is designed to help you with your psychological and emotional growth. You can check out my article, Using My Writing to Help You to learn more.
Jennifer Lehr, LMFT