One time I was in the confessional and after I told the priest all of my sins he said, “you’re not very patient are you.” Needless to say, I need to work on this virtue. I find myself being impatient in big things, but also in really small things. I’m impatient in my lack of a love life, school, driving, and just time in general.
I feel like a lot of my life I have just been waiting for the time to pass instead of enjoying what is in front of me currently. I just want to get to the point where I’m independent, don’t have any more school to do, and have a husband and kids.
Seems simple right?
I need to learn to be happy with where I am in life right now, and I know that practicing patience and being flexible will help me to achieve that.
“Enables one to endure present evils without sadness or resentment in conformity with the will of God.”
Now, I have come a long way from my impatient teenage self, but this definition above used to be the exact opposite of me. I saw a lot of things in my life as evils and was very impatient about getting onto the next phase of life.
I was very resentful towards God and what He had placed before me. However, as time went on, I started to see the things that He was doing as ways for me to grow out of my impatient and stubborn self.
I needed to stop focusing on myself and start thinking about how I could accomplish what He wanted me to do right now.
Not only am I impatient when it comes to things I want, but also in healing. PCOS is a lifelong struggle, I will never completely be healed, and I will never manage it perfectly. I’ve had to be extremely patient in even figuring out how to manage it.
Practicing patience in this area of my life is extremely difficult for me because I feel like if I try hard enough, then I should be able to solve the problem right? Nope. That’s not how it’s going to work with this. For some things, it doesn’t matter how hard you try, the problem will still take a long time and may never completely be fixed.
I still struggle with this a lot, but being conscious of my impatient tendencies has made this so much easier.
The willingness to change or modify
It’s interesting because before I started to practice this virtue specifically, I noticed that as I became stronger in my faith, I also became more flexible. I used to be gung-ho and strict about a lot of things, but now I feel that those things don’t matter. I think being flexible is a lesson in humility. It allows you to practice that things won’t always go the way you planned and sometimes having to adapt to things that you didn’t forsee. It lets us know that, ultimately, we’re not in charge.
For example, I used to have to know plans like 2 or 3 days in advance and wanted to plan them down to a T, but now I’m fine not knowing until the day of. I almost like not having plans more because I feel like the best things happen when you drift and just let the wind take you.
For this week, I didn’t have any specific instances that helped me practice patience and flexibility because the whole week was a possibility to grow in these areas.
The dietetic internship has helped me to implement these virtues a lot. I sometimes have to get here at 9:00 a.m. and sometimes at 5:00 a.m. Today, I woke up at 4:45 a.m. to take inventory at the facility.
I have to be flexible with my schedule to meet the needs of the facility and my supervisory registered dietitian. When I’m at work, I never know what my dietitian is going to need.
Sometimes I will be working on something, and she will say that she wants me to do something so I drop what I’m doing and help her complete that task. Practicing flexibility not only helps me to grow in virtue but also makes me a better worker.
Not only do I have to be patient and flexible with my work duties, but I also had to be patient with the staff and team members. I am just an intern, so I have to rely on everyone else to get anything done. Any time I wanted to shadow someone or had to complete a task for my internship director I had to depend on someone else’s schedule and willingness to help me. This was a little painstaking at times, but overall a good experience.
In testing my patience, I realized that I think what I have to do is more important than what they have to do. The reason I become so agitated when someone can’t help me right away is that I think whatever they’re doing comes secondary to what I need to do.
I feel this a lot when I drive. Previously, I would speed a lot because I didn’t think about the fact that everyone is going somewhere and has something to do. I just think about where I am going and what I need to do and that gives me the right to speed. However, I know this isn’t the case and now try to bring this to the forefront of my mind when I have the urge to.
One other thing that has also contributed to my impatience is my phone. If I have my phone on me, I never have to bored. I never have to be patient with boredom because I’m always entertained. I think a great way to grow in patience is to take a break from social media. When you’re standing in line for something or are at a red light, try not to get on your phone. Try to be patient and not entertain yourself for those few minutes. Did you become agitated during this time? Did you panic because you had nothing to do? Remember, silence doesn’t create things, it just magnifies it. If we find ourselves to be angry when we’re sitting in silence that means that we are angry. When we pick up our phones we only become angry and distracted. Taking accountability of our feelings when we have to be patient or sit in silence can really bring to light areas of our life we need to work on! I was on my phone at a stoplight this morning, so I know patience is something I need to cultivate more.
This is something I’ve really tried to work on and emphasizing these virtues really helped me to do it!