The problem with patience

I’ve never been one for goal-setting and resolutions.  I think they can be fun and certainly interesting, but for staying power, I can’t say they’ve ever given me much motivation.  But I’ve learned about myself that I often need to have an experience, then work backward from there to reach understanding.  Am I alone in this?

One of the problems with patience is that virtually every reference to patience involves encouraging us to be patient with others. Makes sense –  most people can’t get through one day without needing to conjure patience for some person or situation.  Personally, some days it feels like a losing battle.  Until one day someone said something to me that just clicked.  After a heart-felt conversation, as I was walking out the door, she said so kindly, “Be gentle with yourself.”   The earth didn’t shake but something within me was unhinged a bit.  Gentle with myself?  Now there’s a new concept!  Maybe first I need to be patient with myself.  Hhhmmmm.  That has had some staying power!

St. Augustine said that patience is the companion of wisdom.  So in my search for wisdom – about myself, others, what God is teaching me about both – I need to begin with patience with myself and being gentle with myself if the pace frustrates me or if I lack progress.  I have so much to learn yet and I feel myself tugging at the leash sometimes but lately, I’ve been falling into waiting for Him to reveal things to me at His pace.  It’s kind of exciting!

So I’ll keep watching, listening and collecting these words and experiences in my mental files of growing a better me, knowing I’m on the path of a slow unfolding of understanding.  I’d rather be on a faster track, but that’s the old me.  The new one is learning to be patient with myself and while I’m at it, hopefully much more patient with others, too.



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