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We’ve all heard “Patience is a Virtue.” And perhaps some of us know the origins of the well-known idiom, which is a reference to a 4th Century allegorical poem, Psychomachia, by Prudentius Clemens. In the Poem, Clemens pits the seven virtues of the soul against the seven vices in a battle that is a representation of the inner struggles we face.
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Often, we’ve heard the idiom as it relates to our lack of patience for some current thing in our lives and we come to resent the phrase. Patience is essential to leading a happy life, but it is easier said than done. Practicing true patience means having a constant understanding of what it means to be patient without falling victim to anger.
I was never a patient woman, despite all my efforts to beat the anger down. Certain things would just rub me the wrong way. However, that all changed when my brother and his wife had their first child. I was in my late thirties, and though I had spent plenty of time around other people’s children, I was very impatient with the whole lot of them. But suddenly, there was this little person, helpless and fragile, in my family and the first time I help my niece, I was struck by the overwhelming love.
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time with my niece and nephew, who was born a few years later. What I used to find overwhelming about children was softened by the connection I felt with my family. However, the most miraculous thing is that the patience I learned from one aspect of my life carried over to the rest of it. I found myself less afflicted by the world and more at peace. Sure, there are highly frustrating moments still, but for the most part, I am a calmer person because of my learned patience.
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My pet adoptions have also greatly increased my patience levels. Pets can be the farthest thing from easy and I’m not suggesting you run out and rescue a cat or dog to help you develop patience. But, with an open mind and open heart as well as understanding the mind and needs of a pet, you can learn patience from them easily. Or at least develop greater skill in patience.
Once you find the thing that can help you find and develop patience, you will discover a new world. This new world is the one we are meant to live in.