I think we often work on cultivating and improving how we respond to the outside world, but how often do we consider how we respond to ourselves?
Patience is something I continually work on, because I’ve never been one to have it. I wasn’t taught how to have patience with anyone or anything, let alone myself. I now realize that this is partially due to the high levels of anxiety I’ve experienced most of my life due to my damaged and imbalanced nervous system. It’s been a tough journey, not understanding why I have so little patience and always feeling as if I’m a bad person who should just try harder until I do.
We’re taught that when we don’t feel we possess a certain admirable or “positive” quality in abundance, we should be ashamed and judge ourselves. We put ourselves down, demean ourselves to others and even more so in our own minds. In this world, already harsh and unforgiving at times, we desperately need our own support and compassion. But I – perhaps you as well – was never taught to do anything but berate myself and treat myself with disgust.
Unfortunately, when you have parents who don’t know how to love themselves, they pass the same behaviors down to you. My mother was incredibly impatient, and I know that I myself don’t have the patience for children of my own. She was doing the best she could, but unfortunately for me and my brother, her parenting often lacked what we needed to feel nurtured and secure. I’ve never understood how to be patient with myself because she couldn’t seem to be that way with herself, with me, or with anyone else.
So what if you start working on giving yourself the same beautiful love that you feel you must give others? What if you stop beating yourself up because you think you aren’t doing enough or trying hard enough, and give yourself the gift of patience with your own progress?
You are enough exactly as you are. Please stop telling yourself that you aren’t. You are your own worst enemy when you speak to yourself hurtfully and judgmentally. Life is already tough enough without you tearing your spirit apart.
The work starts with you. You cannot have compassion, patience, and understanding for others – not fully – when you don’t show up for yourself first. Leaning in to the work of loving yourself and attending to your own needs is the kindest thing you can do, for you and for the world. You matter, and you are worth your own respect and consideration.
You got this. You can learn to have patience with yourself on this journey. I believe in you. Sending love.