Courageous love is patient love. It doesn’t flip out over spilled milk. It is steady in the face of challenges. How do we grow patience?
1. Stop expecting (and demanding) perfection from yourself and your children. Live well, love well, and try your best. If you slip up, ask forgiveness. If they slip up, forgive. Keep moving and don’t remain with Guilt for too long.
2. Breathe. I know that sounds cliche, but have you really tried deep, focused breathing to calm yourself? Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of 8. Repeat 4 times.
3. Let go of unnecessary baggage on your agenda. You don’t have to do it all. The world will keep on turning, and you’ll be happier. Promise.
4. Find some humor. It’s good to laugh for a whole host of reasons, and many of us aren’t doing it nearly enough. Find reasons to laugh every single day, preferably with your children, and look for the humor in typically frustrating situations. When my sons spill water (which seems to happen daily), I say, “Oh no, look at that! You made a clean spot there! That’s going to stick out!” It’s not all a big deal.
5. Speaking of big deals, shift your perspective. Ask yourself if the thing that’s making you feel impatient is going to matter tomorrow or next week or 5 years from now. It’s probably not.
6. Build you self-confidence. You may have a nagging critical voice in your head. Like mine, for instance. Tell it to shut up and sit down. Speak kindly to yourself, like you would a friend. Focus on your good qualities.
7. Make prayer and/or meditation a daily part of your life. A few minutes a day can make a big difference.
8. Grab hold of that small space between action and reaction. Acknowledge it with “I have a choice” and then choose a better response.
9. Plan ahead. Visualize how you will react to reoccurring issues or common frustrations.
10. Practice patience every day. Keep at it until it becomes a habit. They say that takes 21 days, so by the end of this challenge, you should be quite patient.
Today, work on growing your patience by trying some of the above techniques. In your journal, write what worked best for you. Also jot down some of the common frustrations you deal with and how you would like to respond ideally.
Join me tomorrow for “Courageous Love Isn’t Critical.”
Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.
If you’d like a wearable daily reminder, pick up a Love Courageously reminder band in my shop (available in the US only, free shipping). *limited number available*