There’s an old piece of humour – “They say that patience is a skill that can be acquired. But how can I learn it faster!” That joke always makes me smile but perhaps it is an excellent reflection on today’s world. Covid-19 has trained us, or should I say forced us, to be a little more patient – waiting for restrictions to be lifted, waiting for vaccines to be produced, waiting for our injection, waiting for the chance to hug our relatives again, waiting for the opportunity to travel again and enjoy a holiday.
Patience is not a virtue that we find easy! In the days when life was “normal” and our media was not consumed with the latest virus news, we rushed about trying to fit everything into our schedules while of course multi-tasking as much as possible. How inconvenient it was when there were three people ahead of us at the ATM, how frustrating when a traffic line on the motorway moved faster than the one we were stuck in and it was a calamity if we stalled at traffic lights and had to wait an extra turn for the lights to go green again! If our Wi-Fi wasn’t at full speed it was a disaster to wait more than a second for our chosen internet page to load. Perhaps our post virus world will be different with a calmer, reflective and more appreciative atmosphere or perhaps we will return to our old bad habits?
In our relationships there is a definite need to have patience. When we first meet our partner their quirky nature or cute habits seem fun but the same things a couple of years later can be infuriating! We somehow lose some tolerance and patience along the way. Yet when we allow the person we love to be their unique self we see the beauty of human diversity. The traditional marriage vows suggest to us that we need patience in the good times and the bad, that for a relationship to thrive it requires us to be patient with our loved one. I feel there needs to be a recognition within ourselves that perfection is not possible, that sometimes we can expect too much of our partner. Reflecting on our own idiosyncrasies is a good first step in understanding this! Of course, it’s essential to keep each other accountable with regard to important aspects or failings, that is so important in any marriage, but patience brings a healing calm to a relationship that is worth its weight in gold. The next time you feel impatient with your partner, stop and reflect on why that is and perhaps the five tips here might help – if you have the patience to read them!