Today it happened again. A co-worker said “I think you must be the most patient person I’ve ever met.”
I laughed and thanked her, but inside I had conflicting thoughts.
Gentleness can be expressed by choice even if my feelings are far from gentle. The rules of customer service can be learned so well that politeness comes out by default. This is good. It is expected, and my job pretty much depends on it.
And since love is a verb, it is loving to behave lovingly, even if my heart isn’t fully on board. Often, my feelings will catch up if I choose to make my words gentle.
But hoo boy, I know my heart. And this heart feels some feels that are most definitely IMpatient.
When a lemon is squeezed, what comes out? Lemon juice. Even if it were painted to look like a lush, purple grape, lemons can only give lemon juice. In the same way, the contents of my heart will spurt out when I am squeezed.
True patience can’t be learned by following a customer service manual. It is learned in the crucible of private, irritating moments. The heart itself–the source of all my thoughts and actions–must be changed from within.
Because otherwise, I’m just painting a lemon purple.
This post is part of a writing challenge called Write 31 Days. To see other posts in the series, click here!
Photo cred: Duane Madden (edits mine)