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Friday, February 11, 2011

Patience...

How does one go about developing something they were not inherently blessed with? When it comes to being a mother, I think my biggest challenge is my lack of patience. And it's ridiculous...I know it is. I should have all the patience in the world. Afterall, I was blessed with two beautiful, healthy, spirited, smart, and very capable daughters. I have an amazing husband who loves me more than I deserve. I have a home over my head and food to eat. I have wonderful parents and siblings and the kindest, most patient of friends. But the honest truth is...I don't have patience. Almost daily, I find myself losing patience over the smallest and dumbest of things...but how do I keep those things from bothering me?

Today, after a major blow-up resulting from my lack of patience, I took a few minutes to think about this very topic and remembered a talk from General Conference last April. I couldn't remember who gave it but I knew it was about patience...so I went to my trusted resource (http://www.lds.org/), searched the archives, and found the talk by Elder Uchtdorf. After reading through the talk a few times, and feeling greatly humbled, I figured I would share some of the highlights from the talk here (mainly, so I can come back and read them during my future struggles with patience).

      - Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. 

      - Without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Patience is a "purifying
        process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope
        for peace."

       - "As parents, we know how unwise it would be to indulge our children’s every desire. But
       children are not the only ones who spoil when showered with immediate gratification. Our
       Heavenly Father knows what good parents come to understand over time: if children are ever
       going to mature and reach their potential, they must learn to wait....patience [is] far more
       than simply waiting for something to happen—patience require[s] actively working toward
       worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results [don’t] appear instantly or without
       effort."

       - "Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience
       means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we
       can — working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the
       desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring WELL!"

       - "Impatience, on the other hand, is a symptom of selfishness. It is a trait of the self-
       absorbed. It arises from the all-too-prevalent condition called “center of the universe”
       syndrome, which leads people to believe that the world revolves around them and that
       all others are just supporting cast in the grand theater of mortality in which only they
       have the starring role."

       - "As the Lord is patient with us, let us be patient with those we serve. Understand that
       they, like us, are imperfect. They, like us, make mistakes. They, like us, want others to give
       them the benefit of the doubt."

       - Never give up on anyone. And that includes not giving up on yourself.

       - "Brigham Young taught that when something came up which he could not comprehend fully,
       he would pray to the Lord, “Give me patience to wait until I can understand it for myself.” 
       And then Brigham would continue to pray until he could comprehend it. We must learn that
       in the Lord’s plan, our understanding comes “line upon line, precept upon precept.” In short,
       knowledge and understanding come at the price of patience.

       - Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from
       the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord’s hand in our lives until
       long after trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building  
       blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity,
       understanding, and happiness."

       - "Patience is a godly attribute that can heal souls, unlock treasures of knowledge and
       understanding, and transform ordinary men and women into saints and angels. Patience is
       truly a fruit of the Spirit."

       - "Patience means staying with something until the end. It means delaying immediate
       gratification for future blessings. It means reining in anger and holding back the unkind
       word. It means resisting evil, even when it appears to be making others rich."

       - "Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace,
       and faith. It means being “willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon
       [us], even as a child doth submit to his father.” Ultimately, patience means being “firm and
       steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord” every hour of every day,
       even when it is hard to do so. In the words of John the Revelator, “Here is the patience of the
       saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and … faith [in] Jesus.”

      - Patience is a process of perfection. Patience means to abide in faith, knowing that sometimes
       it is in the waiting rather than in the receiving that we grow the most. This was true in the
       time of the Savior. It is true in our time as well, for we are commanded in these latter days
       to "continue in patience until ye are perfected.”

       - The work of patience boils down to this: keep the commandments; trust in God, our Heavenly
       Father; serve Him with meekness and Christlike love; exercise faith and hope in the Savior; and
       never give up. The lessons we learn from patience will cultivate our character, lift our lives,
       and heighten our happiness. They will help us to become worthy priesthood bearers and faithful
       disciples of our Master, Jesus Christ.

So, after reading this over and over again, I suppose the way for me to develop the patience I knowingly lack is to just keep trying. I need to think about how my example influences the girls. I need to consider how my impatience and its resulting actions affect their growth, development, and behavior. I need to think about the days/experiences when I am most impatient and figure out what the underlying cause is. Most often, it's because I am tired or stressed about something else...and unfortunatley, the girls end up bearing the brunt of that. I hate it when I lose patience with them...it crushes them and breaks their hearts. I hate knowing that my impatience causes them sadness and that their tears could have been prevented if I had simply held my temper and been just a little more patient.

I know it won't be easy. And I'm not expecting a miraculous transition overnight. But if I simply take things one day at a time and remember that my role and purpose as a mother is to love and teach and serve these little gals I have been blessed with, then it should be easier for me to learn patience. Journaling helps, even though most of my journaling is done via scrapbooking or blogging. I know when I am pushed for time or trying to hurry I tend to get impatient...so I need to be more careful and allow plenty of time to finish the things we need to get done. I know I need to learn to just let things go...but that is something that's easier said than done.

So, all this being said, I am interested in the things you have done or have learned to help you develop more patience? I don't know how many people actually read this blog anyone (it's okay...our lives are pretty boring so I don't blame you), but for anyone who feels so inclined to enlighten me with your wisdom, I would be forever grateful!!

Oh...and on a lighter note...this one made me chuckle. Yes...that would be me, the blockhead....

1 comment:

  1. I too have never been known as patient. And now, as the mother to an almost 3 year old (and 8 1/2 months pregnant!) I find myself "losing it" a lot. I guess my only suggestion, besides what you've already written is just give yourself a little timeout. If my daughter is being particularly rotten- I try to verbalize to her that Mommy isn't feeling very patient with her and that I need a little timeout to feel better. Even a few minutes in the bathroom (the only locking door in our house!!) can do wonders! :) Hope that helps and know that you are DEFINITELY not the only mother on Earth with very little patience! :)

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