What does it take to be patient?

What does it take for me to be patient? Patient when my daughter is melting down and unable or unwilling to do the next task in front of her. Patient with a colleague who is not grasping what I am telling them and being impatient with me. Patient with my husband when our priorities clash. I have been reflecting on that of late.

Do you know the person that I find the most difficult to have patience with? Myself. I get frustrated with a seeming lack of progress towards my high standards. I expect myself to make huge changes overnight. I berate myself when I procrastinate or fall back into old habits. To further compound the problem, I notice that when I have a lack of compassion and grace for myself, I am less patient with others too.

Have you heard someone say not to ask for more patience because you will be given the opportunities for that to grow? It really is true. Patience is one of those character traits that can only be developed in the situation, however, I have found there are definitely factors that add to our ability to be patient.S

Sleep! It has to be a priority in our lives. Our ability to function well and manage our emotions is deeply impacted by lack of sleep.

Rest and play! Nurturing ourselves- in body, mind and soul- fuels us to be able to stay calm, maintain perspective and look more kindly on ourselves and those around us.

Recognising hormonal patterns! I used to try to deny the impact hormones have on me. That makes it worse! While I can’t do a whole lot to change this underlying factor, I can recognise when it is at play, use extra tools (like essential oils and walks) to support my emotions and give myself and others extra grace. Being aware that we are irritable and not seeing things clearly helps!

Pursuing God’s presence! While this isn’t some magic cure, it is crucial in my life. Getting up that bit earlier to read Scriptures and pray. Praying through rough moments. Speaking words of truth over myself and my daughter. Being mindful of God’s presence in my life in everyday moments. This brings the internal transformation I need (but it isn’t an overnight change!)

In a world that screams messages of rush, pushing ahead and never good enough, let’s be the ones speaking words of calm and peace. Let’s start with ourselves and have that patience spill over on to those around us. What one small step can you take today? What else helps you to be patient?

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