Patience really is a virtue.
We are reactive creatures, us humans. Along with maybe every other living creature on the face of the planet? 100% yes. But what sets us drastically apart from all other inhabitants of this earth is our God-given abilities to analyze, rationalize, and compromise.
I would consider myself somewhere on the preferable side of the reactive-prone curve when it comes to both wifehood (totally a word!) and parenthood. But NOT entirely. I mean, 1. I’m human, and 2. I’m a female (Let’s just go ahead and admit it. Females are, by nature, much more hormonal than males. But that’s a different blog for another day), 3. I’m a parent, 4. I’m a stay-at-home mom. Therefore, I fail daily at overreacting, raising my voice, and so on. But what I have on my side is that I have acknowledged my shortcomings, and I have made a conscious decision to actively work on these shortcomings.
Last week, I bought some beautiful Martha Stewart Christmas tree ornaments from Home Depot. They were SO expensive but are SO gorgeous. Also, I had a gift card to Home Depot, or else these bulbs would not have come home with me (because I knew of the inevitable short lives these bulbs would have in my home with two toddlers). But that’s beside the point. A couple of days ago, my two year old son wrestled our Christmas tree down to the ground. Are you ready for the part that I’m ashamed of? Well, my initial thought when I heard this from the kitchen was, “My son! Is he ok?” But WAY too soon after that, once I realized there was no way he was hurt, my next reaction was, “No! Not my ornaments.” And yes, those words came out of my mouth. In front of my child. Like I said, ashamed.
What is it about human reaction that is so… so… shallow? And so stinking selfish? Also, those individuals who are known for their giving spirits (like Mother Theresa) — what would their initial instinct have been in a silly situation like this? I think I know the answer.
“Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less.” – Mother Teresa
Ahhh! Thanks, Mother Teresa, for cutting my soul to the core and making me feel like scum of the earth. But really, this makes me think. Our reactive nature as humans makes us miss a lot of what we should be striving to see, feel, and hear from the most important people in our lives. Was my son physically ok? Sure. But did I use that situation to show him a portrayal of the sort of grace, patience, and love I hope he carries with him in his future? Not. at. all. Ashamed. Did I “see” my son in that moment? And did I consider how my quick words would make him feel? Nope. Ashamed.
I won’t go into much detail here and now, but during grad school, I did some extensive research on Stephen Covey and the 7 Habits of Highly Effective (Teens, Families, People). There’s a term Dr. Covey refers to as an essential requirement for an “effective” life: the pause button. As humans, we need to train our reactive brains to pause, especially during those moments and situations that have a tendency to upset us. What I plan to work on personally is a combination of “pause button” meets “patience.” As I see it, pausing is a momentary decision. Rather, retraining your brain’s natural instinct to react. And then, after that comes patience. Thinking ahead and considering the consequences of our actions.
So, next on my loooonnng list of things to self improve on — patience. Patience: so that my children will know that they are infinitely more important than any THING. So that my husband will see me as the graceful, loving, caring wife and mother that I so completely yearn to be. So that I can be satisfied with the legacy I’ll leave behind when I’m gone. Let’s all go be virtuous.
Don’t forget to visit my printable art shop on Etsy for printable art designs intended to inspire us throughout the daily grind!
Thank you!
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