Yet another post about patience. Do you think it’s been on my mind?
Oh dear patience, how I long to know you. And bit by bit, thanks to circumstances and life in general, you are becoming a better friend.
I don’t like to admit it much, but yes, I am an extremely impatient person. I have never liked standing in line, waiting for a bus, putting up with phlegmatic individuals that like to take their own sweet time – and of recent years, waiting for my children to get dressed, brush their teeth and get into bed, finish their lunch before school starts, and the list goes on.
I have, however, throughout the past number of years, asked God to give me patience. You know, the type of prayer that goes something like this: “Oh God, please give me patience and give it to me NOW.” As my mom said to me once, “Staci, you want it and you want it NOW.”
Now when one asks for patience, one must not think that it will come to them in the wink of an eye. It just doesn’t happen that way. Patience is something that comes, well, patiently. It is a virtue to be acquired. It is something that takes time and diligence. It is a choice. You choose to pursue it because it doesn’t come naturally.
There are consequences that come with acting out of impatience. I have experienced them one too many times. Being a strong feeler and highly impulsive has led me down some very potentially destructive roads.
I’ve had my hair cut by an unexperienced barber because of my impatience with the salon next door that was taking too long to get to me. I ended up with a horrible haircut that was uneven and a lot shorter than I wanted.
Being a mother of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, my patience has been tested time and again. I am a Canadian and my first language is English. However, I live in Brazil and have acquired a second language – Portuguese. My children are being raised bilingual and study at a Portuguese-speaking school. Brazil is about 40 years behind in understanding and dealing with the issue of autism and those who are on the autism spectrum. I chose not to home school, but to put Cauê in a school that is eager to include those with learning disabilities and those that aren’t ‘neuro-typical’. He desperately needs the social interaction and I recognize my limitations and lack of – yup, you guessed it – patience. Even though the school accepts my son and tries to adapt lessons for him and his learning style, I have to invest a great amount of time and energy into helping him understand what is being taught. Apart from his regular homework, I am also teaching him to read in English. This has added to my stress and tested my patience many times over.
I had a dream recently where I was with my children and we were walking along a quiet residential street. All of a sudden, Cauê ran ahead, where at the intersection was a busy street. I called and yelled out to him, STOP Cauê! I tried running after him, but couldn’t catch up on time. I never saw him get hit by a car or anything like that, but all of a sudden I was aware that I was trying to rush him along and get him to read in English at the same level as a neuro-typical child that lives in an English-only environment. I knew that if I continued in my impatience and forcing him to get to a place that he wasn’t ready to be, I would end up traumatizing him and killing any desire to read with me.
I am determined to master the art of patience. And with any art, practice makes perfect. It is something you have to work at. It is like a talent to be honed. I read a story once about a great painter that painted a beautiful masterpiece in 10 minutes. When asked how long it took him to paint it, he replied, “20 years”.
Patience is also a BI-product of wisdom. Wisdom is a BI-product of life experience. Life experience will produce wisdom and teach patience as we approach our experiences with teachable hearts.
Do you struggle with being patient? What have your life experiences taught you?
Interesting read: http://messageinabottleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/more-than-a-bushel-of-brains/