Patience is When You Hide Your Impatience

Do you consider yourself to be a patient person?

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Patience is one of those attributes that we don't think about acquiring until we are sorely in need of it! We think of patience as waiting, and waiting is a very unpleasant experience, especially when things are not going our way! Our needs are not met, and we don't know when they will be. It could be a day, week, month, or even longer. We are unable to be patient because we just don't know how long it will be!

When things are going well, we feel that time is on our side. We enjoy beautiful experiences and want them to last forever. We sing the praises of a just God that we have been richly blessed because we have our needs met in abundance. Then when bad things happen, we think that we are being punished, that God is against us, and that life is unfair!

Fortunately, our myopic point of view simply needs some adjustment, and sooner or later, we come to realize that life is good, and that bad things happen to good people. The purpose of this article is to help us understand what patience is, how we can exercise and strengthen it in our daily lives, and how doing so prepares us for the crises that will inevitably come.

What is patience?

According to The Guide to the Scriptures*, patience is "Calm endurance; the ability to endure affliction, insult, or injury without complaint or retaliation." This definition indicates that patience is responding to difficulty by enduring calmly. We are not just waiting (tapping our toes or fingers and watching the clock), we are choosing to respond in a positive manner. For this to be possible, we need a generous helping of faith and hope that everything will work out for the best, that other people are just as important as we are, and that it is possible to come out ahead, even though, at the moment, we may feel that we are lagging behind.

Let us look at some areas of life where this type of endurance in needed, even desired. Recognizing these times for what they are: namely, life circumstances where things may not necessarily go as we want, we can make the choice to exercise patience and increase our ability to be prepared when the real crises come. The following is a list of circumstances where we can exercise our patience:

"...we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

And patience, experience, and experience, hope..."

KJV Romans 5:3-4*

  • Teaching children
  • Suffering from Illnesses, injuries, or disabilities
  • Overcoming individual weaknesses and imperfections
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with others
  • Experiencing the affects of aging

These are discussed in the paragraphs below.

Teaching Children

Whenever we are teaching our children, unexpected things will happen. Our ability to be flexible and work with them as they learn is an exercise in patience.
Whenever we are teaching our children, unexpected things will happen. Our ability to be flexible and work with them as they learn is an exercise in patience. | Source

The family is life's great schoolhouse for human development

As parents, we are primarily responsible for the teaching and training of our children. When they are infants, they are totally dependent upon us for their physical comfort, protection, nourishment, and love. We need patience as we attend to these needs since they may come at inconvenient times and we don't always know what they are. Working through the difficulty of figuring out the needs, and then meeting them in a calm and orderly manner builds our muscles of patience as schedules and routines are established. The bonds of trust we establish will last a lifetime.

Children grow rapidly. As they get to be toddlers, they want to move about, touch and taste everything, climb, and explore. Using a calm tone of voice as we set boundaries and teach them about their world reinforces our feelings of love for them. The more we teach in this manner, the more they are able to understand and function appropriately. We do not have to raise our voice or speak harshly when they do things they shouldn't, but give consistent warnings, get down and speak to them on their level face to face, and explain what needs to be done instead.

Once children are involved in school and have friends outside the home, we teach them appropriate behavior when in the presence of others. Children fight and quarrel one with another, whether friends or siblings. Our ability to calmly teach them appropriate behavior is paramount to them feeling our love and having a sense of belonging. We preserve their feelings of self-worth as we discipline in such a way that they are successful in their choices.

We teach them to be kind, share their belongings, and resolve conflict peaceably rather than yelling at and hitting each other. During the teenage years, the patience we use in helping our children spread their wings of independence determines the quality of our relationships with them.

They need to be taught those skills that will enable them to be successful when they are no longer living with us. Allowing them to make mistakes as they practice these skills while under our supervision keeps the consequences manageable and out of public scrutiny. Dignity and self-respect are maintained when we teach with patience.

Suffering from Illnesses, Injuries, and Disabilities

Illnesses, injuries, and disabilities are things we don't usually plan. They come as a result of accidents, genetic predispositions, or other unexpected circumstances.
Illnesses, injuries, and disabilities are things we don't usually plan. They come as a result of accidents, genetic predispositions, or other unexpected circumstances. | Source

Illnesses, injuries, and disabilities come when we least expect

Some are visible, requiring special equipment and procedures. Others are within ourselves and although we may frequent therapist and doctor's offices for treatment, we and our family suffer in silence, keeping the difficulty that we face away from the knowledge of others.

Additional time and financial resources are required when a family member is ill, injured, or suffering with a disability. When the person is a member or our family, we may have to take time off of work or call upon others to assist. Extra duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Purchasing and administering medication
  • Transportation to and from appointments and therapy
  • Special diets, cooking, and/or eating equipment
  • Time for scheduling, phone calling, and corresponding with care givers
  • Working with care givers to plan and deliberate treatment options
  • Hospitalization, if needed, and referral to specialists
  • Assistance with personal care, mobility, and dressing
  • Giving extra love and attention

Each of these activities requires calm endurance. Care givers must be careful not to neglect their own needs while caring for their loved one. Doing so leaves their needs unmet, and leads to the possibility of neglect and abuse. Accessing community resources is vital to avoid experiencing burnout. Getting connected with a support group is also helpful. When our own needs are met, we are able to be patient and kind with our loved one.

Overcoming Individual Weaknesses and Imperfections

It is difficult to be patient with ourselves. We know our own weaknesses and imperfections intimately, and yet we need to allow ourselves room to learn and live.
It is difficult to be patient with ourselves. We know our own weaknesses and imperfections intimately, and yet we need to allow ourselves room to learn and live. | Source

Having patience with yourself is the most difficult of all

We know ourselves so intimately, that we are well aware of our mistakes and shortcomings. We know the things we should have done and didn't do, as well as the things we have said that were better left unsaid. Having patience with ourselves has a lot to do with perspective.

First and foremost, we need a realization of who we really are. As children of God, we have all of the attributes of our Heavenly Father. He has all patience. Patience is personified through our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we look at the New Testament, we see him gathering the little children about him and blessing them, healing the sick, and pausing to acknowledge those who were considered to be undesirables.

When we look at ourselves, we often see ourselves as the rebellious children of Israel found in the Old Testament. We think that God is displeased with us due to our hypocritical natures and our hard hearts. We see his anger as people were destroyed right and left due to their obedience, selfishness, and corruption. We don't see mercy and kindness.

If we stop and look at what God did for them as they wandered in the wilderness, however, we see that he was merciful and kind. He fed them with manna so that they did not die of starvation. He gave them meat when they desired meat. He provided them with laws and guidelines that would point them in the direction to come back to him. He gave them leaders to counsel and direct them. It was when they turned away from him and worshiped other gods that his anger was kindled against them.

In reality, God, as our father, sees us as we see our little children, innocent and full of potential. He does everything he can to help us and is saddened when we turn away from him. Always, he is there waiting for us to come back. Now that is patience in its purest form!

Establishing and Maintaining Relationships with Others

Every relationship in our lives is built on communication. It takes patience to establish communication channels and to keep them open and properly functioning.
Every relationship in our lives is built on communication. It takes patience to establish communication channels and to keep them open and properly functioning. | Source

Our ability to establish and maintain relationships with others successfully determines the quality of our work environment, our friendships, and our families

Each person has their own distinct personality, family culture, strengths and weaknesses, and communication style. Any time we interact with another, all of these things come into play for that single moment. In some cases, this process is cumbersome and annoying. In others, it is enjoyable.

Successful relationships don't just happen. There will be differences of opinion and conflicting desires. It is necessary to allow time for these things to be resolved before people can go forward with their desired goals. This is especially true in families and workplaces. Unresolved differences happen whenever people work together, whether two people or twenty. Patiently listening, problem solving through issues, collaborating, and compromising keep relationships viable and progress toward goals possible.

"In your patience, possess ye your souls."

KJV, Luke 21:19*

Patience in relationships applies just as much in a romantic setting as it does in the workplace. People who are familiar with each other intimately know strengths and weaknesses that others may not.

Patiently overlooking weaknesses when they become problematic while emphasizing strengths keeps feelings of love strong and relationships unified. Deepening the relationship and looking forward to long-term commitment brings new challenges and responsibilities.

It is in the marriage relationship where we experience our greatest joys and our deepest sorrows. We experience life at its best and at its worst. We need a great deal of perseverance, a deep level of commitment, and an understanding of the eternal significance of marriage to weather the storms that will come our way. Our muscles of patience will be exercised frequently as we learn and grow together through life's difficulties.

Experiencing the Affects of Aging

The affects of aging are not always visible to others. We may have to patiently explain why we cannot, should not, or do not do certain things.
The affects of aging are not always visible to others. We may have to patiently explain why we cannot, should not, or do not do certain things. | Source

Windshield Wipers - a poem about patience

Back and forth... back and forth...

The rain is coming down in buckets!

Buckets... buckets...

I need to get a new mop bucket. Mine is wearing out.

Out... out...

Tommy’s jeans are wearing out. I wonder if there is a sale on at the department store.

Store... store...

I need to stop at the grocery store for some things. I don’t have my list with me, though.

Back and forth... back and forth...

I had best be careful, the road is getting slippery.

Slippery... slippery...

My boots need new soles on them, or I will slip on the ice. I will bring them on my way tomorrow.

Tomorrow... tomorrow...

I invited the neighbors over for dinner tomorrow. I had better stop for some milk, bread, and cheese.

Cheese... cheese...

I wonder if they have their holiday cheese assortments out yet.

Back and forth... back and forth...

There’s some lights up ahead at the side of the road. They must have stopped because of the rain.

Rain... rain...

Rainy days are so depressing to me. The sky is black and I can’t see very well.

See... see...

It’s getting hard for my mother to see. We need to get her some new glasses

Glasses... glasses...

I can take her in when I get my glasses adjusted.

Back and forth... back and forth....

The rain is turning to snow! I had better slow down

Down... down...

The doctor told my husband he needs to slow down. He is having problems with high blood pressure due to stress

Stress... stress...

This is supposed to be the most stressful time of life, teenagers, work, aging parents, debt payments.

Payments... payments...

Oh, Lord, I am sorry I forgot to petition thee today!

Poem by Denise W. Anderson

Copyright by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved.

We all age, it is inevitable

It happens to everyone, and no matter what we do, our bodies will change over time. We find that our eyes see differently, our taste buds give new sensations, and our ability to feel different textures declines. Aging is a natural part of life.

Time seems to pass more rapidly as we get older. In reality, the proportions change. One year in the life of a ten-year old child is one-tenth of their life. At the age of seventy, one year is a mere one-seventieth! No wonder young marrieds start to look like children, and suddenly we become older than all of our service providers!

Grocery store shelves no longer carry the brands we like - or is it just that the packaging is different! Cars aren't as reliable as they once were, and the print on the page seems to keep getting smaller! It seems that we just start getting to know someone, and then we hear about their funeral in the paper!

Life is a series of tests. During the process of learning, we pass one test after another, only to find that we face yet another. The last one we have to pass is the test of endurance. Since patience is "calm endurance," our ability to be patient with the aging process is paramount to successfully finishing our lives. Although we are the same person inside, our bodies must soon lie down in the grave, and we will meet our Maker.

The time we spend with our families and loved ones helps us to endure. As we gather them around us and share our wisdom and kindness, we are wrapping ourselves in a blanket of warmth. That security will carry us through the difficult moments when our memories fail and our abilities just don't seem to do what we need them to do.

Patience is required as we gradually lose the ability to care for others. Eventually, we find that we must depend on those who once were in our arms. We may even get to the point that we don't recognize them when they come to visit, or that they can't seem to please us, no matter how hard they try!

Then, when the time comes that we step out of this world and into the next, we will suddenly realize that we had patience all along! All we had to do was simply hide our impatience, calmly enduring any situation that happens to come our way.

Develop the attribute of patience, for your emotional health!

Copyright by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. This hub is an Emotional Survival Resource. For more on Emotional Survival, see www.denisewa.com.

*Published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Follow the links to the on-line version.

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13 comments

MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Denise, thank you for sharing your beautiful poem. The situations you choose to demonstrate our need for patience are very pertinent. Overcoming weaknesses and imperfections may be my biggest test of them all, but with God's help, I intend to endure. Thank you for the inspiration.


mathira profile image

mathira 3 years ago from chennai

Yes,Denise many of us do not know that patience is the key to good relationships, great success and it also contributes to our inner happiness. Very inspiring hub!


schoolmarm76 profile image

schoolmarm76 3 years ago from Northeast

Beautiful hub. Your words ring so true. Thank you for sharing .


Eliza Anderson 3 years ago

I have been trying to be patient with myself and with the professional help. Every time I turn around, another problem occurs.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

I appreciate you commenting about the poem, MsDora. I wasn't sure if I should add it and decided to do so at the last minute. There are so many times in our day that we have to exercise our patience. As we turn to God for assistance in doing so, we find strength that we didn't know we had. The Lord will bless you as you turn to him!

You are right, mathira, patience in our relationships with others will make or break them. Relationships are the foundation of so many things in our lives and as we exercise patience, we find greater happiness. I appreciate your comments!

Thanks for reading, schoolmarm76. My goal is to emphasize true principles that help people in their personal and family lives. I appreciate your comment, that tells me I have successfully accomplished my goal! I hope that others recognize it as well.

Eliza, you have a great deal of patience! The difficulties in your life that require professional help may be ongoing, but you will be blessed as you continue to choose good things. Sometimes, all we can do is endure through the difficult times, and in doing so, we are exercising patience.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Oh indeed this is a marvelous hub. I never thought that patience is the same as courage. Wow. No biggie if we are not faced with fear or impatience.

Thanks to you I will face my next bout of impatience as a challenge to teach me patience. Thanks for the gift.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks for stopping by, Ericdierker. I value your input. We don't realize how much each day we are patient until there comes a time when we aren't! It is, indeed, a gift to realize that it is simply a matter of changing our focus during a difficult moment that gives us the ability to endure it well. God bless you!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Patience really is something we never think much about until we need it, i suppose. As you have mentioned, developing patience for our emotional healthy is so important.

My motto has become in about the last ten years or so...I do not go anywhere in a hurry. that way I do not need to be IMpatient if things move along slowly. and my elderly parents needing me in the years before their death taught me to be so patient with them and it has translated into me being patient with others.

Angels are on the way to you today ps


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

You knew I would be back. I must have patience with myself and admit I need to read good stuff like this a few times before it really soaks in.

And what a blessing to be following and called back by ps.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

That is a great motto, pstraubie48! I found that when I stopped wearing a watch, I was able to increase my patience. I allowed more time to get where I need to go, and am less likely to think that I have time for something extra. Working with the elderly is a great way to learn patience! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Thanks for coming back, Eric! Repeated reading is a great way to learn. That is one of the reasons I joined Hub Pages, so I could write and go back and read it myself! Keep up the good work!


mothersofnations profile image

mothersofnations 2 years ago

That was a very interesting and helpful article. It encouraged me to look at so many people in my life, most notably when it came to aging - I thought of my mother. She's not up there but she's getting there and sometimes I see the evidence of it.

I never considered how life must look through her eyes. She's still moving energetically but she has had to bring it down a little over the years. She's very independent and I never thought about what's going through her mind when she asks one of us for help with something - it must take a lot of courage to ask when she's never had to ask before, always the one lending a hand and now asking for one at times...

The entire article has opened my eyes in one way or another, and all for the benefit of the relationships I have with all those the Lord has brought into my life.

I'm grateful to have found your hubpage. God bless you.


mothersofnations profile image

mothersofnations 2 years ago

That was a very interesting article. You touched on many of life's stages.

One of the things that hits me is the section about growing older. It reminded me of my mother. I never considered how life might look through her eyes. Always so independent - the first one to lend a hand - I hadn't thought what it might feel like for her to have to ask for a hand now and then, now that she's beginning to age. I pray we're as patient with her as she was with us when we were children.

Again, wonderful article. All great points! God bless you.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Forgive me for not responding right away to your first post. I appreciate you coming back and posting again! Your words have just as much power the second time around! For me, health issues have caused the most problems with patience, and aging has been a big part of that. My parents are also getting up in years. My beloved mother-in-law was the first to pass away, and the others will not be far behind. It has been a true test of love to continue to help them when they were ones doing the helping not that long ago!

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