4 Tips for Growing in Patience

Written by Ann Burns

April 4, 2024

When the Villains are Beautiful

Patience is the virtue which makes us accept for love of God, generously and peacefully, everything that is displeasing to our nature, without allowing ourselves to be depressed by the sadness which easily comes over us when we meet with disagreeable things. – Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen 

Patience is not always easy.

Maybe the clean, folded laundry just got thrown around like confetti by a toddler.

Maybe a coworker is causing you more work.

Maybe the kitchen always seems destroyed 5 seconds after you clean it.

Maybe life just doesn’t seem to be going your way, or on the timeline you wanted.

Patience is tough.

Especially because it usually means combatting our negative emotions that tend to get the better of us when things are not going according to plan.

Patience requires fortitude to endure the daily interruptions and frustrations, but it also means turning to joy.

We can do this by:

1) Pausing

Our emotional response is the result of our thoughts. Slowing down helps us to pause before simply giving into frustration.

2) Give the Moment to God

Accepting the cross isn’t just handling the big difficulties of life well, but embracing each daily frustration and seeing it as an invitation to draw closer to Christ.

3) Find the Humor

Sometimes our daily frustrations are laced with the comical, and if we choose to pause, we have the opportunity to find the humor and smile. It’s important we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and finding the humor frees us from crying over “spilled milk.”

4) Focus on the Task and NOT Yourself

The more we draw inward and think about our frustration, the more frustrated we get. The more we cave to self-pity, which only brings about more misery. Instead, acknowledge the situation, pause, smile, and tackle it.

Choosing joy requires an act of the will.
Growing in virtue means discipline.

But through these daily habits, we end up with more reasons to smile and become stewards to peace and joy.

And don’t forget, have patience with yourself. 

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instead set about remedying them—every day begin the task anew.”- St. Francis deSales

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