There was a wonderful comedian back in the 1970’s, Flip Wilson. One of the characters in his skits was Geraldine who’s comment, whenever she did something wrong, was, “The devil made me do it.” It’s a good excuse, right? Blame the devil for getting into you and having you do things that you shouldn’t do or didn’t want to do.
I bring this up because it’s our lack of patience in ourselves that really creates a situation where we feel like we are out of control and that we do things that we really don’t want to do. Why? Why do we lose patience in our relationships with one another?
I’m discussing patience specifically regarding relationships because, isn’t it true?– you say things to your loved ones that you regret. You get angry, you get upset and you say things you wish you hadn’t. So where is patience in that situation? It’s nowhere to be found.
I’m guessing you would like to have more patience in your relationships so that you don’t go off the deep end and say or do something foolish or hurtful. I hope so!
So let’s examine for a little bit, why we lack patience in our relationships. Here are some things I’ve heard:
- Well, we expect people who are close to us to know what we’re thinking. They live with us, they know us inside out so they should. They should know what we’re thinking and when they don’t, we get frustrated. We get angry. And, of course, we lose our patience.
- We believe, irrationally, that everyone thinks the same way we do, right? They should, of course, because we’re right! Everybody else must think the same way. It’s not true, so when they don’t think the same way we do, what do we do? We get upset, we get angry, we lose our patience. We lash out. We say things we didn’t want to say and we lose friendships. I’ve lost a friend because i didn’t want to experience her anger. I was afraid, literally afraid of being jumped on–that this person would lose patience with something I said, and would blow up. And to me, that’s not a comfortable situation. So I found I had to move away from the relationship because it didn’t feel nurturing.
You don’t want to be that kind of person, right? You don’t want to lose patience simply because somebody said something that you didn’t agree with. I’ve been guilty of that myself in the past, I’m sure my kids would probably agree. I must admit i have not got to the point where I never lose patience, but I am surely a long way from where i used to be. And for that I’m very grateful.
So let’s talk about the benefits of being patient.
~When you’re patient, you are able to listen to people better, right? You’re not in such a hurry to say what you want to say, speak up and let them know how brilliant you are. Rather, you are able to sit there and just listen to what they’re saying and hear them fully, let them finish their thought.
How many times have you been talking with someone and you’re trying to get your point across or complete a story, and they interrupt you right in the middle? Then you lose your train of thought, and then you can’t remember where you left off. It’s not a pleasant situation, so that’s not where you want to be. You don’t want to be like that person.
You want to be a better listener. You want to listen to people. You want to hear what they’re saying so that they feel acknowledged because that’s really what it is. It’s about being respected and acknowledged. When you’re really listening to someone they appreciate it. You become a better listener when you develop your patience.
~When you’re patient, you become more compassionate and empathetic. And you create a softness in your relationship, a willingness to understand the other person. Stress can’t get in there when you’re feeling compassion for someone. none of this tension that comes with impatience; only a sense of outpouring and giving. That’s what you truly want unless you’re a masochist!
That’s what you will have when you allow your patience to be present rather than that impatient urge that wants to leap ahead and come to your imagined conclusion. So it is important to recognize that patience will bring out your compassion and that in turn will magnify the beauty of your relationships. That is what you want.
You want healthy relationships, you want peaceful relationships. I’m sure you do! I mean don’t we all? And yet that is why we have so much difficulty in many of our relationships –for these very reasons that I’ve been talking about.
~When you’re patient, (and this is a big one,) you will find it easier to forgive–forgive yourself, forgive other people. When you develop your patience-ability, you will recognize that, instead of rushing in to judge because you didn’t even let the person finish their sentence, you’ll be able to take time to see all sides of the situation. That’s what patience allows you to do. It allows you to stop and take your time to let all possibilities emerge from the discussion or the situation. And in that way, you can see that other people are doing the best they can. They really are.
We’re all doing the best we can. Are we not? Are we not doing the best we can as we perceive it at the moment? Now it may not be the best, but I didn’t say it was the best, but we’re doing the best we think we can in the moment. I believe that’s what most people are not willing to acknowledge in other people and even in themselves.
We tend to beat ourselves up if we’re not perfect, right? So that’s an important aspect of patience, because patience allows you to see yourself or the other person from many different angles and to recognize that in that particular moment they’re doing something inappropriate, because you or they are not thinking clearly.
I was with my grandkids recently and one of my grandsons was doing something really inappropriate. Really, totally inappropriate and I have to admit I wasn’t as patient as I would have liked to be with him. (Hey, nobody’s perfect!) Even though I gave him a reprimand and a couple of dirty looks, he knew that I loved him and forgave him and we were soon joking around again. That’s the power of forgiveness. It’s a huge topic and I could spend hours talking about it, so I’m not going to go there, but suffice it to say that your forgiveness-ability will increase with your patience-ability.
~When you’re patient, you will have no desire to carry a grudge. Impatience breeds annoyance which leads to anger. And when you hold the anger as justified, it becomes a grudge. We have a story in our family about Uncle Al, who took offense with where he was seated at a family wedding and left. He never spoke to the bride’s side of the family for the rest of his life! He died a poor and lonely man.
Patience occurs in the Now. Let’s say you are having a conversation with someone. You’re not thinking about what’s going to happen next, you’re right there, listening to this person. And because you’re rooted in the moment, your mind becomes a clear pool, letting everything you hear fall into the water where it is cleansed of judgment and defensiveness. You are aware that nothing stays the same forever, right? So even if they’re saying something that’s inappropriate or critical, whatever it is, you don’t take it personally. It’ll pass. And you can help it along by maintaining a sense of neutrality.
~When you’re patient, you will respond only after you have consulted with your inner guidance and follow its direction. Spending quiet time each day developing your skill of listening for the “still, small voice” within you becomes automatic in time.
But that won’t happen if you don’t take the time to be patient in your conversations. Then you’ll find yourself holding a grudge against this person for having insulted you or whatever they did. Do you want this? it’s just another stress in your life that you don’t need.
~When you’re patient, you have less stress in your life because stress comes from rushing around, not giving yourself a chance to catch your breath, feeling out of control, not taking time to listen for guidance so you can do the peaceful thing. Patience and stress are antithetical. They cannot come together. You are either one or the other. So choose patience, please!
For all these reasons and more, you want to expand your patience-ability and reduce your stress so you can be happier and healthier. That is what I want for you. That’s what I want for me. I want it for everybody. So that we can enjoy the life that we have been given to its fullest extent.
Peace and Love Always,
I always tell you that I’m here for you because I want you to know that you have all the answers that you need within you, even if the answer you get is, “Go get help from so and so.” That answer will send you in the right direction so you can be the calm, creative, joyful and successful businesswoman you are meant to be!
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