Patience is a skill that most people struggle with. Next time you are sitting in traffic, just look at the people around you and take note of the ones that are visibly upset at something that is ultimately out of their control. When we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot change the outcome, we tend to get uncomfortable – it is only human nature to look for the quickest way out of what is causing us discomfort. Patience requires effort and intentionality – it is a skill that does not come easily.
The purpose of this word took on a whole new level of meaning for me once I found myself in recovery. It has been through nearly three years of intense introspection that I have been able to recognize when I am overwhelmed by what is out of my control and which moments I need to focus on being patient the most. It is through self-awareness that we can identify times where we need to put patience into practice, and by doing so, we can begin to change the way we react to specific situations.
For me, being patient with myself has allowed me to forgive the mistakes I have made, accept the cards I have been dealt, and focus on what is most important to move forward. It is crucial to understand that we are only able to do so much at one time and to expect so much from ourselves can be detrimental to our growth as a person. By taking a step back, and realizing when we are reacting out of frustration, we are able to address an area or a situation that causes us to feel overwhelmed. To be patient with ourselves, we must know that we are going to be faced with challenges, but how we choose to be impacted by those challenges is our choice to make.
As humans, we are a constant work in progress, constantly having to seek ways to improve ourselves, because that is just one of the many responsibilities we are given. It is also a responsibility that we should be okay with. We should always want to get better, especially since there is no “finish line” when it comes to being the best that we can be. There is always room to strive for more, and that is why patience is so important. We cannot be so unwilling to wait for what is to come, because, at the end of the day, we have no say in how quickly we progress in this life; we only have control over how hard we work to get to where we want to be. To be patient with the world, we must first be patient with ourselves.
Practice! Practice! Practice! No one ever became a bad person from having too much patience. When we stop giving power to circumstances out of our hands, we can focus our energy on much more productive tasks and positive thoughts. Do not get me wrong, there have many times where I want to throw my arms up and hope for easier times, and straighter paths, but nine times out of ten, we hit speed bumps and take detours. The sooner we are able to appreciate the slowness of our true progress, we can begin to find the beauty of patience and appreciate the lessons that this skill is teaching us along the way.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.