Confession: Patience is a Virtue I Am Still Working On

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Last week I was in line at my credit union when the gentleman in front of me, who was not a member, was trying to cash a check. Because of the situation it was taking the teller forever to take care of all the paperwork required. She was the only one working and with each passing minute my patience was wearing thin. I had so many more errands to run and I needed to be home by 2 p.m. for an important phone call from my father-in-law's doctor and all I could do was wait. I had no choice but to wait, but I will say it was one of those ultimate tests in patience, that's for sure.

I recently read that impatience is due to our lack of control of the situation we find ourselves in, therefore when we are confronted with a situation in which we have no control our patience is definitely being put to the test.

Talk about an AHA! moment. When I read this short snippet it was as if a light bulb went off. At that moment I realized my impatience was responsible for so many of my failed attempts about changing who I was. In the past when I failed to see results with my weight loss, running or even the ability to take on a new task, it was easier to throw in the towel than to push through and accomplish my goals.

Patience is about learning to endure through those times when we have no control. I could not control the rate at which I lost the weight, but I could control my nutrition and exercise, both of which allowed me to reach my goal.

What I have discovered is that there is little in my life that I can control. I can't control how others treat me, but I am in control in how I respond to their actions. I cannot not control how quickly my body adapts to my various running distances, however, I am in control in the number of days I run and the amount of recovery I give my body so that eventually I will be able to run longer distances.

Developing the patience it takes to get through life's trials is something I am definitely working on. Sometimes just practicing deep breathing is all it takes to get me back to center, but I do know that every trial that I am confronted with is one that brings me closer to whom I am meant to be.

Are you a patient person? What are some of the things you do to tackle the impatience in your life? What aspect of your life's journey are you most impatient with?

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I have found that the amount of Patience I have depends on my moods. The better I feel the more I have. Then again, my mood goes down hill the more impatient I become. Report
I am so sorry i have no patience with things that are happening in my life . I am getting older and the less i can do about myself . Report
Patience is a virtue that we must learn to develop for use as a tool for everyday life with our spouse, children, friends, neighbors and most importantly with ourselves Report
If I'm getting very impatient and can't control myself anymore, it will lead to a very hot-tempered me, which luckily I don't get often. I always smile a lot, immerse myself into something that I like to do - reading, singing, dancing to my silent tune (like a crazy girl, haha). Report
Impatience is my number one fault. Especially sitting in traffic - and it is about not being able to control the situation. I get impatient with one of my supervisors at work and I just kind of realized with this article it's because I can't control the rate at which he is learning. It's one of those "aha" moments!

I also get impatient at the rate of which I'm losing but this is an area I can control and can find fault with no one but myself - oh and the people at Hersheys for making a candy that calls my name from five aisles away in the grocery store!

Great article - thank you! Report
Yes! I do suffer from a lack of patience, especially when driving. I've started saying a positive about the driver for every negative that comes out of my mouth or pops into my head. Or, I think of a reason why the person is driving poorly. Maybe they've had a really bad day, or have things on their mind. We've all certainly done stupid, thoughtless things! Report
My Mom has Parkinson's and Dementia - It is truly a test of every bit of patience you can muster. Report
i'm not a patient person, for somethings, i am very punctual, i like a schedule.
but i am learning to be more patient, i take a deep breath and i look at the situation and see if there is anything i can do to remedy the situation, if not i push that task to tomorrow to see if it can be completed another day.
as for waiting in line, it depends on where it is and what i'm up to and how busy my day is but even then i know it's out of my control... Report
I see myself in this article. Report
Patience is something to work on...I never related it to weight control until now. Thanks Report
This blog was my AHA moment. I never thought about patience or lack of it having anything to do with control, but it does make sense. My fiance and I are in a very trying and difficult situation right now. Circumstances beyond our control. I will definately to pass this along to him. Report
Thank you for your very interesting comments. I am not a patient person and have spent many frustrating hours being impatient. It is my belief that I keep receiving situations which require patience because I have not learned the lesson of patience. I had not made the connection between impatience and lack of control before, an AHA moment for me as well. I know I have control issues and that control is important to me. Like you, I tend to quit when the situation is no longer one I can control. I will do some thinking about your comments and see if I can incorporate some into my day to day life. Again, my thanks! Report
I'm working to be patient. It's hard when you want to see more results and working out so much. But this is true, patience is the key! Report
ok that is one of things i am working on :O)
i am INPATIENT Report
I can be patient at times. Report
I have 3 children whom I had 18 months apart. SOOOOO...I have no choice but be patient because there a lot of things that are beyond my control. When I notice that I'm starting to become impatient I just start doing a little bit of deep breathing so that I can just calm down and think rationally about the situation. Report
I know I can control getting up each day knowing I can walk that half hour on my treadmill and eventually its going to take me to my goal!! Report
I am definitely NOT patient, by any means. I absolutely HATE waiting. If I know I'll have to wait somewhere, I always bring a book, and that sure helps. I also want to be in control, and it makes me crazy when I'm not. I try my best everyday, to be calm, and sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don't.
As for my weight, I want it gone yesterday, but I'm working on it. Thank you for the tip, on being in control of how I feel. Report
It's me again, I just wanted to add a little quote my Dear Dad, used to say to me, when I was a kid.
"Patience is a virtue
Possess it if you can,
Seldom found in woman,
And never found in man" lol. Report
My favorite prayer used to be "God, grant me patience and I want it RIGHT NOW!!"

Finally a very dear friend told me to stop praying for patience so God could quit putting me into situations where I had to practice it. That was my AHA! moment.

The more impatient we are with ourselves and others, the more obstacles we find in our paths. Sure, I forget this lesson sometimes, but generally my patience pendulum swings back to center pretty quickly when I recognize what I'm doing. Report
I can relate to this article, as I also am a very impatient person. I try very hard to find patience to tolerate people who make my life more difficult, but it's not an easy task. I find more and more every day that people are inconsiderate of others. They seem to put themselves first and it is very easy to get drawn into their selfish world. I guess being raised to be respectful is what causes me the most conflict. My impatience tends to be worse because I was not "trained" to treat others that way. Me, myself, and I simply does not work in my world. I am now trying to remember that everything is pretty much out of our control. Things ALWAYS happen the way they are supposed to, no matter how many decisions you make or what plans you have. The best way to handle the subject at hand is to be the best person you can be...every single day. Report
Patience is something that over time I learned, was forced to learn as a kid..but only truly understood true patience as I became an adult. There is one thing that I think is very true in your blog and it's about how impatience gets us in our times/moments of un control. I agree completely with that statement. In my most impatience moments looking back it all stems from something/situation that I had no control over. The only thing you do have control over is your reaction to situations. Report
Wow! I can be very impatient at times. Its truly inspiring to read your blog. Report
This is so true! I have had to learn to take pleasure in the things I can control, like just getting out there and doing it, and not let myself get discouraged by the things I can't control, like how much weight I lost or how fast I ran. I am getting better at saying, "I accomplished my goal--I exercised for 30 minutes" and not "I failed--I didn't lose 2 pounds." Report
I really like the idea that we are impatient because we lack control, and I agree with it. I was terribly impatient when my children were young and I was running everywhere all the time. Now that I have more control over where I have to be and when, I find I am not nearly so impatient. Report
It is amazing how my mood can contribute to the patience of the moment. Some days I am fine with a slow car or a whiney kid but others it triggers my inner most demons. Loved the article and will ponder the control factor... I definitely feel out of control a lot!! But still seem to keep the patience in check mostly. Report
I find myself only being patient with children, the elderly, and my dog. This article was definitely needed! ;-) Report
thank you... i have saved this to 'favorites' so i can ponder this again... a very thought provoking article! Report
Oh my goodness this is article was so needed for me to read. I have a problem with impatience and want to be a more calm patient person so much. I am working on this as well and can see how important it is. Thanks for writing this. Report
It just depends on how much I have crammed into my day and how it's going that determines if I have patience. Given the same situation on two different days, I could react differently on both. Just depends. Report
I must say, I like to think of myself as patient. People tell me I have the patience of a saint (I work in customer service and people can be difficult, at times). What's funny to me is that I wasn't always that way. Age has mellowed me out a lot, as has reading and reading books about life. :) The thing I am most impatient with is myself. In all things, I guess I believe I should be good at it. Right now! Something to work on, for sure. Report
I am described as a very patient person and that may be true and I must be honest as it is a quality that has grown as the years go by/maturity. I may be patient when spending all day in hospital with my 89 year young father, waiting in lines, traffic, etc (as what will getting upset accomplish) but on a personal level believe patience is a quality that is never truly mastered; especially with myself and my weight loss goals. But I will keep trying and trust that if I am doing all the "right" things and persevere I will be rewarded in the end. Report
I am very patient from dealing with elderly people that suffer from dementia. If one isn't patient with them, one woruld lose mind rapidly. I just thank God every dy that that isn't me and it helps with the patience. Report
I have been told for years that I AM a patient person. I've waited and waited sometimes when I shouldn't. But generally when faced with a situation where I might have to wait on something/one - car repairs, doctors offices, etc - I show up prepared with something to occupy my time. Waiting in line @ the bank I may do some stretches or deep knee bends - Just don't like standing still! Report
Over the years I have become more patien, retirement and aging has probabely has a lot to do with it tho. I have a lot more time, so it doessn't bother me when the person in front of me needs more time ---in fact it happened today and the lady looked at me and was apologing and I told HER IT wasn't necessary as I wasn't in ant hurry. The one park of my life I am impatient is is trying to lose weight. Report
I have always considered myself pretty patient, even as a teenager. Then I grew up. I am more patient with my family and friends but no so much with others who themselves show no patientce. For example driving. There is traffic, I am frustrated but what can I do, then I see some idiot driving on the "pull over" lane. Really!? How much more important are you than everyone else in the same situation, unless your wife is in labor, there is no reason for that. That's when I have no patience. I have also become much more patient with my family because of my husband. The only part of my life that I am really working on patience is with my children. They test you day in and day out. I have gotten better, thank God. I really liked this article. It's a friendly reminder to us all. Report
I learned to be patient as the years went by and I realized that me getting frazzled wasn't going to change anything. Now, when I am in lines, waiting on whatever, or shopping & cashing out, I have a new approach. I do calf raises, walk on the spot or knee bends. Helps me physically as well as mentally. The other thing that comes with time ... I don't care what others think about my on-the-spot exercises.

Defintely something I'm working on as life situations, I thought...your blog makes me realize how the same truth applies to exercise progress. I can't control what the scale says today, but what I do when I step off of it & proceed through my day & week may have an impact on what it says next week...Thanks for this! Report
Nancy - thanks for sharing this insight. I think it's just what I need, and will help me in many aspects of my life, both with my personal goals and while dealing with other people. I tend to be fairly patient with others, less so with myself, but sometimes things get really out of control. Now I know why I get so impatient at those times, and I can work to focus on what I can control and just let the other stuff go. Again, thanks! Report
Wow, I feel like a control-a-holic right about now. I realize that I am more patient with people in my life, like family and friends...and can have no patience for the rest of the world. What is it about I'm wondering? Maybe the lack of control? Or I do wonder if there is also some kind of wall or defense we put up that comes out as impatience...afterall, what would it look like if we were all kind and patient to ourselves and others... Report
I have been working on this for some time now! It's getting better as I get older. The statement "patience is a virtue" is so true. Report
Thanks for this! Report
Who has the time to be patient? ;-p Just kidding. This is an area where I am a definite work in progress. Sort of the two-steps forward, one-step back kind of progress... Report
I have 0 patience. I wish I did... Report
I think that we can all find many situations where we have lacked patience and we can all come up with times when we just decided not to let it bother us. The later is always the better experience but it is easy to lose focus when stupid things are going on and we have no control. And in the heat of the sitaution, it is so easy to let yourself just boil! I need to work on this more often. I think I would be much happier internally. Report
I am so impatient especially with my family and while driving. I do not like people that do not use their turn signals and I find myself calling them names. I do not like waiting in lines and I start to get irritated about how long it takes to get my groceries. I find that I like to be in control and when I am not things are not right. I definitely need to calm down and not get so worked up about waiting in line or an old person that is driving 20 mph in a 35 mph zone. Report
Wow, what a great and on point article. I have been learning and growing patient with every day. I see more and more how Patience is a virtue and it is true that good things come to those who wait. Report
I am a very impatient person. This is a fantastic post. Report
Patience, patience, patience. I believe the best policy is patience. We really have got used to getting things our way on a fast track basis. I always heard good things comes to those who wait. I beleive that my weight loss will be done with patience. Report
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