Patience

It’s a Fruit of the Spirit.
It’s a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta.
And, in my opinion, it’s the best Guns n’ Roses song ever recorded.

Patience is not a virtue of which I am in abundant supply. I sometimes reference my Weekly Patience Allotment. Something like a vehicle’s gas tank, in theory, at the beginning of the week, my WPA should be on F. If it’s a typical week, I should be able to make it to the end of the week before my tank hits E. Sometimes, though, and I know you feel me here, the Low-Fuel Indicator blinks on, and it’s only Thursday.

Addams Family

Apparently, even this post can’t wait to be publisbed(!). The day I began writing this post, I had planned to finish it, so I scheduled it to post for the next day. When I was getting ready for bed, I realized that I hadn’t finished the post, and changed the publishing schedule to the next day… or so I thought.

I would have never known, had I not gotten a text message from a dear friend, letting me know the post had hit the spot for him that day.

Here is a picture of what I looked like upon receiving that text message:

I’d like to think that most of us have these moments on a semi-regular basis. I’d like to think that, because it would make me feel so much better.

Back to Patience. She is wily. One minute, she’s all, “You’ve totally got this! I’m here for you.” The next minute, POOF!, she’s just not there. It’s like she’s a magician. Or she’s gone down one of those cartoon holes that appears out of nowhere.

I’ve been working on ways to help Patience stick around. Meditating before bedtime. Listening to my body about what levels of activity my mind can handle (True Confession: I’m not very good at this one). Being aware of my schedule.

One thing I never, ever do is pray for Patience. It has been my experience that when one prays for virtues, such are developed by the presentation of opportunities to practice said virtue. Copious opportunities. Way too many opportunities. If you have been praying for me to have more patience, stop it. Seriously, though. Don’t do it.

Like so many things in life, I think awareness is the first step. Awareness of what helps your Patience stick around longer. Awareness of what depletes it. That requires mindfulness. It’s not just a buzz word! Taking the time, in the moment to consciously register what it is that is making it hard to be patient at any given moment. That’s a tall order!

Being human is hard. Sometimes, we’ve got a cut ourselves some slack. But more importantly, we have to remember to cut other people the same slack we cut ourselves, if not more.

What are your tricks and tips for maintaining or extending your patience?

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