Everyone talks about how patience is a virtue. Not a “golden rule” necessarily, but it might as well be for the number of times I’ve been told to practice it in my lifetime. Because of that, I have practiced patience with others probably every single day of my life after I learned the concept. However, how often are we reminded that we need to practice patience with ourselves too? Whether we want to believe or not, we often set very high expectations for ourselves. When expectations are not met, it is very easy to become frustrated. So why is it that the one thing I’ve been taught to use daily since I was old enough to understand it, is one of the hardest things to implement for myself? Some days, practicing patience with myself is entirely unheard of.
I usually write about things that I want to work towards. Things that are important to realize, but I may not actually be at the point that I can practice them day in and day out. After writing my first blog of this year about taking care of myself, I realized that wouldn’t be possible without the presence of self-love. And now, since I’ve sort of developed poor habits of self-care and self-love, I have realized that patience is the next most important thing in all of this self-journey stuff. I’ve talked frequently about the things I’ve been riddled with in the past. Self-abuse, low self esteem, unhealthy relationships, etc.. These things developed hard, rigid, patterns about how I went about my days. I think everyone reading this can agree that old habits die hard, right? It takes time to find a really good way to go about breaking a habit. It also takes time to develop a new one.
I’ve been trying day in and day out to change my habits of resorting to self-hate at the end of the day, or not always putting myself first. But something I am very presently realizing, is that it is not going to happen overnight. Oh and how I wish it would! But even when I remind myself daily that I am worth my own self-love and care, unfortunately, it does not always happen that way. Through that happening, I become frustrated. I think to myself “I’m sitting here writing about it, and telling everyone reading my blog to go and do these things, and I can’t even do them myself.” Which at times I think is fair. However, as I mentioned once already, I write about things that I want to work towards. Things that I am in NO way a master at. But because of this, I am using you, whoever you are, and the very public Internet, as a means to actually practice what I am preaching. Otherwise, I would probably allow myself to chicken out, and back down to myself way too often. After all, we are our own worst enemy.
So in all of this, I’ve come to realize that I can’t expect these things to happen overnight. In a way, some of these changes in my life are HUGE. Therefore, practicing patience with myself is also huge. Let’s be real, practicing patience with anything is huge. I think we can all agree that there have been many things in life that we’ve had to be patient for. Or that we’ve had to “take time” for. Healing after a breakup, healing after a death or loss of someone dear, when wanting to break habits, when needing to confront something difficult, when looking for love, looking for answers, etc. There are so many things in life that take time; so many things that will not change or get better overnight. We need to start realizing that “taking time” also means “having patience” WITH YOURSELF. Battling ourselves, and constantly pushing ourselves to feel ready for something that we’re not, is not beneficial to our growth as people. This process of patience and waiting is uncomfortable. It is not immediately gratifying. However, life is not designed that way. I read a quote that said, “the most pivotal part of growth is discomfort.” How true is that? Do not allow discomfort and frustration to prevent your growth, rather, let it foster your growth. Remind yourself how important patience is to balance out these struggles, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Find people that you can talk to. Find someone that understands your frustrations, that understands your reservations, as to maybe why whatever you’re working on or waiting for is taking longer than you originally anticipated it would. Like I’ve said many many times before, people need other people. Embrace that.
So I don’t know, maybe you disagree, maybe it doesn’t make sense to you at all. I may even be wrong about all of it, but it’s just my view on it.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
-Proverbs 3: 5-6