Popular author Debbie Macomber, in her book, “One Perfect Word,” suggested you pick one word and focus on it for the year.
After considering a few possibilities, I settled on “Patience” aware that it is not my strong suit. I don’t understand how with kids I can explain something over and over, but with adults, I think one explanation should be enough! I want to be more patient about repeating myself when someone doesn’t understand an explanation, doesn’t hear me, or remember what I said.
I want to be more patient with myself as well, even when I don’t “get” something the first time, don’t remember something, or can’t find something. I want to be better about waiting in line, waiting for things to happen, waiting for an answer.
As I thought about how to develop patience, I was reminded of a conversation with a friend about praying for strength. She said, “ Be careful about praying for strength.” When I asked why, she said, “If you wanted to develop physical strength you would have to lift weights and keep lifting heavier and heavier weights, wouldn’t you?” When I agreed, she said, “So if you pray for strength, God will give you increasingly difficult situations , and as you handle them, you will grow stronger.”
Hmmm. If I am impatient, does that mean the Universe will keep putting me in more and more situations where patience is required until I’ve learned to be patient? So instead of voicing, “Give me patience!” I decided to practice patience whenever possible.
For my first attempt, I was in a long, unmoving line at a store. I started to tap my foot and then, instead, took a deep breath and then another deep breath and began to relax.
I practice patience when someone doesn’t get what I’m saying, when someone is slower than the proverbial cold molasses, when a program doesn’t start on time.
I think I’m making a bit of progress.
The other day I was stuck in a very long line of cars that were not moving. I prayed, “Thank you for providing me with this opportunity to practice patience.”
Then I took several deep breaths and thought about the beach.
I try strategies like this often now and hope I’ll see results SOON! J
© Dorothy C. Judd
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