June 23, 2015
Filed In: Philosophy
Several times a week, I fail to reach the high Catholic Husband standard. Being the husband that I was made to be is indeed a very high bar and one that's only achievable through diligence, focus, and determination. Many times throughout the week I'll be working on some project and Alison will ask something of me. It's usually in those moments that I'm most impatient.
The only real way to beat impatience is to actively choose to not be impatient. While that may sound trite, it's at the core of this conversion. Understanding which situations try your patience the most, and then working to change your responses in those situations is the best way out of a tendency towards impatience. When you begin to move away from an attitude of impatience, be on alert for those situations that put you in the greatest danger of a relapse. With this level of focus and attention on your surroundings, and by understanding your triggers, you can know when you're at your weakest and be able to respond more appropriately. This type of change requires intentionality because impatience is such a snap response. In order to overcome impatience, you have to be in control of all of your responses, especially rapids ones.
When a situation arises that may try your patience, don't respond immediately. Take an extra two seconds, think, and then respond. So if I ask Alison a question and she doesn't immediately answer, it would be wise of me to take a deep breath, wait for two seconds, and then ask for her attention again. That's a far better response than getting frustrated and leaving the room, or angrily looking at my phone. Perhaps she simply didn't hear me or maybe she was working through a big idea that needed just another moment before she was ready to change her focus. It's best in all situations to maintain perspective. We're often too quick to judge a situation and when we do so, we often judge wrongly. As in the example above, maybe your wife just didn't hear you. Although forgetting a question or an idea can be frustrating, it may not have been that important of a thought. Situations that try our patience are minor interruptions in the grand scheme of things. These minor interruptions are hardly worth getting into a fight over.
When you choose to overcome impatience, you'll have a long road ahead of you. Yet, if you'll maintain focus and persevere, you can grow in virtue and leave the impatient you in the past.