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The Gift of Patience

The Gift of Patience

Over the past month or so, I’ve found myself feeling thankful… time and time again… for the patience I’ve received from others. It’s been a true gift.

It’s made me think of how each simple act of patience leaves others with hope. It’s made me realize how much I struggle with providing it to others. It’s made me realize, anew, that this gift is more valuable, and difficult to provide when we all need it the most.

Like most commodities, the value of patience increases with its scarcity.

When times get stressful, patience often goes into hiding.  It gets lost in the shadows. As our minds try to wrap themselves around a world turned upside down, we begin to lose sight of what it means to love others and ourselves.

If you can lose your keys or your smartphone or anything else, you can

lose your patience.  No one is immune.

If we’re all at risk of losing our patience, how can we up the odds of holding on to it for the sake of the ones we love?

Take good care of yourself by setting limits with others.

When we try to do too much for others, we often end up with very little to give.  Healthy limits allow us to remain loving, and they keep us from becoming resentful. Examples include:

  • I’ll be happy to help you when I see that you’ve already tried to figure it out for yourself.
  • I’ll listen when your voice sounds calm like mine. 
  • I allow kids to keep the toys they pick up.

Take good care of yourself by setting limits with… yourself.

Another irony: When we’re critical and demanding with ourselves, we tend to share the favor. Few of us do it on purpose, but we do it nonetheless. We set unrealistic standards for ourselves, stress ourselves out and then find it difficult to provide patience to others.  If this applies to you, here’s a question you may need to contemplate:


Would I feel okay treating others the way that I am treating myself?


Thanks for reading!

Dr. Charles Fay