Why is patience a gift of love you give yourself?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (Paul, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7).

This quote has probably been read at more weddings than any other quote in history. When you hear this quote, do you think about the connection between patience, love and time? Probably not! You might even be wondering what time has to do with love and patience. Well, patience is the ability to wait and let time go without being unduly stressed. It is the ability to tolerate delays in time and delays in our scheduled activities. Patience is tolerance of others whose time frames and time manners may not be the same as ours. Most of us have a different view of what it means to be late or on time. Different cultures and different upbringings bestow quite a bit of variation on the concept of timeliness. If you are obsessed with you definition of what it means to be “on-time”, no doubt you will be stressed a great deal. You may also earn the dislike of those who feel you are too rigid and absorbed with your own priorities.

Are you patient in traffic with those who are too slow and wait too long at a red light? Are you patient with people in lines at the airport, grocery store or gas station? Are you patient with the elderly, the frail, and the disabled? Why should you be patient? Why should you love others? Do you only give love to those you care about? Ask your loved ones if you are patient. Patience is a kind of gift you can give to everyone. Patience is a gift of manners and caring for those who are slower, weaker or perhaps just different than we are.

Why give patience? Indeed, why give love to others at all? The more love you have for others, the more will be returned to you. Patience is a practice that we can get better at, but we must periodically stop our clocks or we cannot learn to be patient. Turn off the clock a few times a day. Forget about the time. Take a break to breath and do nothing. The gift of time you give to yourself will be a gift that you can give others. How does it feel?

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