I have an inordinate amount of patience, and I’d like to help you get some too. There was a time I was impatient about everything, cranky, yet today that is gone. Waiting for learning to take hold and change to take place is not that hard to do for others once you hand that gift to yourself, first.
I used to ask my therapist all the time, when was I going to be done, when was I not going to feel miserable anymore. After all I’d done therapy for years and I just wanted to be over the hump of having things feels so bad. I worked hard, did everything the therapist suggested, and applied the lessons I learned, working like a dog to get myself out of bad places. So, when would I feel better? For instance, when was I going to stop believing that everything I said or did was stupid? I yelled at myself in my head all the time. Now, I forgive myself for being human. Now I make mistakes and do not call myself names and hate myself anymore. I see that I cannot possibly be good at everything and that indeed there are things that I don’t do well, but stupid? No. I am not stupid. Inexperienced? Yes. Naïve? Maybe. It keeps changing, but stupid I am not, I am sure.
The point is, that it took a long time to get my thinking rearranged so I could understand that the things I did ‘wrong’ represent opportunities for learning and growing, and not that I was an idiot like I thought I was. I am still the same person but I talk to myself much more nicely now. I was mistreating myself, abusing myself, being mean and unkind and impatient with myself. I barely noticed as I worked week after week with my therapist that that was slowly going away. It all happened invisibly and in such a way I knew not precisely when change and growth and understanding took place. It was all because my therapist suggested I have patience with myself and with the process of discovering these things with her. Once I learned to have patience with myself, with my humanity, I could show it to others, but not before.
The awareness that changes in me took time and that they are invisible and wonderful in the end allows me to know that same process is taking place in others. Because of this, I love to teach. I love being the person offering patience, the one who is able to see that learning takes place slowly and invisibly and possibly in this very moment. I assure you it will manifest later.
Being patient is not something magical that some of us are born with and some of us are not. It is something we can learn. It is born out of our own experience offering acceptance to ourselves for the things we must overcome. If we can learn to be patient with ourselves we know for sure how to give that to others. Learning anything new takes time, and I know from long hard personal experience, that whatever we are doing we are getting there one moment at a time.
Jennifer C said:
Well said, Jane. Once you realize the issue lies with having patience for yourself it becomes easier, but it is hard to “un do” an old habit. Thanks for showing us it can be done!
Jane Butler said:
It seems to me that having self-awareness matters in so many ways in life and not just for developing patience. In other words, I have so much more to learn. Thanks for visiting my blog and for commenting. I love having readers.