Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Missing Virtue

I know I said recently that I don't usually share very personal things on this blog, but I've been working with this issue in my head the past few weeks... okay, years... and tonight I just feel like venting. So, skip this post if you want... I mostly just need to get my thoughts out of my brain.

I am not a very patient person.

I've felt this particular facet of myself very sharply in the past few months. There are certain things that I think need to happen for me and for my family, and these things, both big and small, have not happened the way I would like them to. When I was a teenager, my dad would often remind me that the world does not revolve around me, and I lately, I feel that teeth-grinding phrase sneaking back into my thoughts, another reminder that even though I'm an adult, this concept still holds true.

A few weeks ago, our Stake President spoke in our ward. He started out by going through a survey he had taken himself of people in this area on what they don't like about people in the church. It was really funny, and I have to admit that almost everything he said was something I had complained about at one point or another, except for gum-chewing, which Chris and I both do. As he went on, the comments became less funny as it started to hit home to me how critical and unforgiving I was being, both of others and of myself. He then spoke about what I believe should be the essentials of a spiritual person: love, acceptance, and patience. He told us to ease up on ourselves and each other, and to try to speak, act and think with love as the primary motivator. It was an incredible message and I felt very personally changed and challenged, and not in the way I was expecting. I came home resolved to be more loving and patient with my family and myself and the world in general.

Well, the weeks have passed and I feel my old self creeping back in. And then I feel frustrated that I couldn't just change overnight. It's the patience thing again-- the weakness I need to work on is gaining patience, and the only way to do that is to be... well, patient.

Tonight I was googling around to try to self-diagnose a little bit, and I came across a pretty good site (http://www.coping.org/growth/patient.htm if you want to check it out yourself) that had a description of how you feel when you're being impatient. It actually made me laugh out loud, because it's pretty much a description of how I've been feeling:

How do you feel when you are impatient?
burned out
over stressed
ill tempered
over responsible

Kind of funny, huh? And blah that I've been feeling like that! And even more blah that these feelings are all due to my own impatience!

The site has a couple of good exercises that I'm going to try, and hopefully these will help me relax a little bit and find joy and satisfaction in small, everyday progress.

The truth is that I do have a great life and I have so many incredible blessings. I just need to focus on being appreciative of the simple things and know that everything always works out for the best in the grand scheme of things. And stop checking my e-mail every two minutes. Sigh.

Okay, okay, I'm done for tonight. Back to fun stuff tomorrow! ;)


becky ward said...

i am totally feeling you on this one! it seems like every night at 6pm i transform into the grinch who stole...EVERYTHING! (; i am being a little serious though. i am going to be checking this website out too! i could use some calming exercises! i love you!

Marilyn said...

Oh, Leesta - you don't give yourself enough credit. You have more patience than you give yourself credit for. You have been a part of our family for 10 years and have put up with a lot from us! Just a few days ago, I was telling Heidi how great you are and how much I love you! I admire every one of your virtues, including your patience!xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Hang in there - this too will pass.

Elena said...

Patience is a hard virtue to come by I think. Especially in the world we live in. It's an instant gratification world and patience isn't something we have to deal with a lot. Best of luck to you on gaining some. I think you are a wonderful person. (If that helps at all.) P.S. I love that you spilled your guts on the blog!!!

Emily said...

I can TOTALLY relate to this. But Elise, you totally pull it off. You look like you are workin' it! I think you are blessed in MANY ways. Your blog is always so cheerful and bright. I love it. Be patient with yourself.

Holly said...

I would LOVE to do some more pictures of your boys! I'll have to practice on newborn pictures... they are kind of tough. But that would be so fun!

Becca said...

I loved this post. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the hot tip on the coping website. I love love LOVE that your stake president spoke about this subject. We all need to hear it.

Amanda and Andy Hansen said...

That's funny because I have had a really hard last few days with patience. I think I have been short with Tyler more in the last two days than his whole life! This post is just what I needed. Thanks Elise.

The Hammers said...

I think we all need to remind ourselves of this once in a while. I was just complaining to Brad about dumb little things before I got on your blog. Talk about needing to visit tonight, huh. You're great, and always have been. Just keep swimming! :)