Self-Love: Patience

I have been working my tail off preparing for the holiday coming up this week. I wish I had a few more hours in the day, but I know I’d stuff them full of tasks that leave me feeling even more ragged than I already am.

As we continue down the road on our journey of Self-Love, we find ourselves facing down a virtue I’m not sure many have anymore: Patience. Or, maybe I’m projecting a bit because I know I certainly lack in the area of patience.

But, the thing is…this isn’t about patience for or with others. This journey is about having patience with ourselves. I know, right? I feel the sting of this already, yet I haven’t even gotten started on the epiphany portion of this prose today.

I have an eight-year-old son, and I can tend to lose my patience with him at times. My day job is as an applications support tech on a help desk. Trust me – that gives me ample opportunities to lose my patience. And I, an INTJ, am dating a former radio personality who is an INTP, so I absolutely know what it’s like to have my patience tested. But I can be more patient with others when I’m well-rested and fed adequately.

You know, though, who I have little to no patience with? Yep. You guessed it. Myself.

In this fast-paced world in which we live, we could all use a little more patience. So, as we walk together today, I’m going to hand you some tips on how to have more patience for yourself that have worked (are working?) for me on this journey of self-love:

1) I make myself wait. Sometimes, I can be a bit impulsive, so I make myself wait for certain things like purchases, paint choices, and essential items like my new car. Since doing this, I have also found I spend less while subsequently getting better quality.

2) I’ve stopped doing things that aren’t important. I know this doesn’t sound like a point of reference for building patience, but it is. Because I don’t spend time doing unimportant tasks, I have more time to invest in essential things. As it turns out, this keeps me from feeling rushed, and when I don’t feel rushed, I don’t lose my patience.

3) I’m mindful of the things that make me impatient. I’ve already mentioned that I tend to be a little more impatient if I’m hungry or tired. But I also know that standing in line at the grocery store is a source of irritation. So, I’m now an Instacart convert. And, according to Instacart, I’ve saved 37 hours of my life since March 2020 lockdown, NOT navigating through aisles and waiting in line. In other words, 37 hours of sheer frustration gone from my life. Thank. You. Instacart.

4) I breathe more deeply and more often. When I feel myself losing patience with myself, I close my eyes, inhale to a slow count of four, suspend the breath for four counts, then exhale for another slow count of four. I do this until I can come back into a space of mindfulness and begin again. I started doing this because I’m a ‘thrower’. For example, when I last tried to hang curtains, I lost my patience and threw the rod across the room. I’ve been known to kick things, hit things, and throw things when doing ‘home improvement’ projects that test my patience. The good news is that I don’t throw items at other people.

As we leave each other today, as always, I’m leaving you with a song which is a remake of an “oldie but a goody” and I ask that you have a bit of patience with everyone, including yourself, this week. People are tired and weary of 2020. Even though this pandemic isn’t going to magically disappear in January, I think folks are looking for a new year. A bit of grace and mercy may go a long way this week.