I’ve been struggling with impatience. Not with delayed gratification, but with active waiting, as in, waiting for other people to change and getting irritated that it’s taking too long (not good!). Patience isn’t passive. There are things to do while I wait. Count to ten. Learn Spanish. Pay attention to their needs. Develop empathy for their fear. Patience is love for others.
Self-reflection reminds me:
1) I can’t give (emotionally) what I don’t have (emotionally). If I haven’t received, or cannot accept, love, empathy, forgiveness, I cannot offer them to others.
2) I can’t change people. Waiting for them to change so I can feel peaceful is foolish. And codependent. I must be the one to change. The more I resent having to do the work to change the relationship, the more closed off and bitter I become.
3) Humble myself. To develop the character of patience, I must move towards the uncomfortable with an attitude that it’s not about me being right, it’s not about me being validated, it’s not about me being in charge.
4) Acceptance for others’ humanity allows them to relax their behavior; it removes their need to deny, blame, project, or attack. Relating to them as equals, not as one up or one down from me, allows them to be on their own journey without judgement or shame or impatience from me.
5) Setting personal emotional boundaries to keep the good in and the bad out is KEY.
6) I don’t have to conjure up patience. God gives me that tool. I get to choose to become a master at using it.