Sometimes we react to situations, letting them build and we need patience when we are struggling. Patience is so necessary when other people are involved because we are at risk of saying things that we may be feeling that may not be as we think they are.
For example, a lot of time we are in denial about the way we feel in situations and need to come to terms with what is our reality. Coming to terms with denial means having tough conversations with others, who also may be in denial as well.
If they are not ready for the conversation, anything we say may only dig as deeper into situations that are not already in the right place. Sometimes it is better to wait than react even when being pushed to respond.
In Celebrate Recovery, and other twelve-step programs we go through a process to learn how to deal with situations as such. We are growing with the help of others who have struggles, some similar to ours, and different.
Patience is critical
Patience is critical in so many situations, no matter if it involves just ourselves, or other people. We need to experience the journey and do what God wants us to do, which is what is right for everyone, not just ourselves. Sometimes that means sacrifice is necessary for us to move forward.
Patience gives us the chance to take time to ourselves. To go into prayer, and to speak privately with God, for us to hear what he has to tell us.
Taking time to step back gives us time to rest, and refresh with a different perspective before we address issues that are troubling us. We can gain a fresh perspective, even when we spoke out of turn, in the wrong place, or even blurted something out that we wish we could take back.
Patience allows us to grow because we can think through what is troubling us. Sometimes we will just let issues go knowing that they aren't as big a deal as what we were making it before, or it's not worth pursuing.
Think through Our Situation
Taking time to think things through gives us time to bring it back to God, and to move our issues out of our will and project it over to God's will. We begin to realize we have more options than we first thought.
Relationships are such a critical area that requires patience, and the ability to hold our commentary. It is even more difficult after an initial slip of the tongue, but taking the time to let go, and let God have control will give you the time to come back and say what you mean when you need to say it. Sometimes it won't be when you want, but it will happen if it is intended to be.
I know that holding back in the present tense may seem like it will draw out a painful experience, but having patience will shorten the time we experience hardship as we will lessen the number of mistakes we make, and focus on being proactive working toward a better outcome.
Patience gives us some control over the things that are happening in life. We can manage the decisions that are directly in front of us, but others around us impact those decisions and often cause disruption.
The Impact of People We Don't Know
Even people we don't know have a significant impact on how we go about our day. Maybe they delay us as we wait for service at a restaurant, or a friend makes plans with us, and then does not follow through. A flat tire or car issues impact the flow of our day.
How much control do we have when the outside world influences our actions? We can adjust, and continue hopefully not letting the diversion distract us. It's those times when being patient is essential to our outcome.
Our tendency to do the wrong thing is often disruptive and adds to our load of stuff we have to do so that we can move forward. Anxiety will creep up and eat at our ability to take our time to get the right result.
Sometimes we need help developing our ability to take the proper time to think things out, to face reality, even overcome denial in our minds. It's so easy to convince ourselves that we think we know best, that we see what others are thinking, and what the best course of action would be.
Then we think about it and later realize that we could have taken a different course of action — that being patient will save us grief and time. Some times we need help, we need to ask for help.
Patience as Children
As children, we learn to be patient, even though we aren't. It seems we have less patience as adults because we don't obey our Father, we are unruly children, and He disciplines us. Do we recognize that He is teaching us?
Maybe I developed more patience then I realized, given that I had a big secret to keep all my life, and it wasn't until I let it out that I freed myself from the burden behind that secret. Still, patience and restraint proved necessary as certain things are best not said until you are ready to deal with the consequences of what you share.
Many of us bring on pain and disappointment that begins with others but is exasperated by our actions, or thoughts. We tend to own what is happening to people who we care for, and turn it into our problem. If we would instead give it to God, we could let him guide us, and others to minimize the grief. Unfortunately, we are quick to react thinking we are doing good when a tempered response is always best.
Give It To God
The best way I have found to create more patience is to give everything to God. Let him speak to me and tell me where I am going wrong. What am I not seeing clearly? The more I practice turning life over to Him, the higher my peace is, and the joy comes into my life, no matter what the situation.
As I get closer to God, I find myself getting into more intimate relationships with people, whereas I kept my inner thoughts to myself previously. No longer am I keeping things in and I'm working to be more temperate with my responses, but at times that can seem impossible. Still, learning patience is golden in life with everything. I don't think I have ever regretted having too much patience, but I know I've regretted moving to fast.