In the Flow with Healing Waters


Practicing patience

“True patience is the ability to remain calm and composed in the face of difficulties, challenges, or frustrations without losing one’s temper, becoming anxious, or giving up. It involves being able to endure hardship or delay without becoming irritated, frustrated or angry.”

How many of you read that and thought, yeah, right, who actually can live like that? I’m guessing that most of us struggle with patience and that’s why I thought I’d write about my own personal awareness with patience. 

When we are young, we are taught to be patient when we are excited about something but have to wait for it. I remember as a kid being excited about going camping in our Starcraft pop-up camper. My parents had their own business so oftentimes the plan would be to leave for our camping trip on Fridays around midday, but work would put them behind schedule. I learned that “midday” meant early evening and I honestly don’t remember EVER leaving as planned. We usually left several hours past the planned time and would be setting up the camper in the dark at the campsite (smiling here at the funny memories). I was practicing patience back then without knowing it. 

My biggest challenge in practicing patience is when I’m driving. Before you put me in the road rage category, let me explain. I’m not the type to honk the horn and use “sign language” to the person that is making me mad with their driving skills but I do say things out loud in my car and hold tension in my body. Perhaps they are going under the speed limit and making you run late, maybe they signal 3 blocks before they actually turn and then turn the corner vvvveeerrrry slooowwly. I practice patience by taking a deep breath and say to myself that they are doing the best they can. Breathing always calms me down and I can be in control of that and how I am reacting, but not how someone else is driving.  

My biggest lesson in patience I learned from my mom. She had a massive stroke when I was 11. She survived the stroke but it left her paralyzed on her right side and she had a limited vocabulary, even though she knew what she wanted to say. She needed assistance with things like errands as she didn’t drive. I think it’s fair to say that most things that we take for granted, were a challenge for her, but you’d never know it. She was strong, determined and surprised all of us with her tenacity and strength. She learned to be patient with herself and gave herself grace in not moving quickly in this fast paced world. There were times that she would have an appointment and I would arrive at her apartment to pick her up. If I were running a little late or if she wasn’t ready, I would be impatient. She could feel my frustration and try to walk a little faster. I remember one time, she almost fell because she was feeling rushed. After that moment, I did my best to arrive at her apartment at least 15 minutes early to allow for ample time so she wouldn’t be rushed, avoiding frustration for both of us. 

We likely all lose our patience occasionally, but doing so frequently or inappropriately can harm your reputation, damage your relationships, increase stress, or escalate a difficult situation. Be aware of your patience level and simply breathe when you are getting impatient.  

Being patient in the flow,