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The Gift I Want You to Have…But I Really Need Author:Jeff Taylor, LPC

When I was fifteen, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the hospital where my mom was head of a department and worked directly with patients as an Occupational Therapist. One day, I went to talk to her, and she was busy with an older gentleman that had suffered a stroke. She was trying to help him to learn how to eat again. I stood in the back of the room and watched as she was slowly helping him with the movement to get the fork into his mouth. Each time, he would get frustrated and knock the spoon to the floor, and each time she would retrieve it and start over while gently talking to him and rubbing his arm. I could hear him say many times in a slurred speech from the stroke, “I can’t”, and my mom would respond, “That’s going to become “I CAN”. I watched in amazement as this cycle repeated itself and then, something seemingly small and completely amazing happened.

He reached his mouth.

I could see tears streaming down his face as he chewed. My mom cheered, “You did it”. Other therapists and patients in the room noticed and sounds of “Way to go!” and “That’s awesome” filled the room. And then I saw something even better . . .

His face that been grimaced in frustration turned into a HUGE smile.

I think of this moment when I recognize impatience with myself (and others), which happens far more often than I wish. Patience is the ability that we want OTHERS to have and rarely see it as an issue within ourselves. Often when we wait for something it deepens our awareness of its value. As technology continues to advance and delays waiting for most things, sadly our patience only grows thinner.

In the early 1900’s it often took hours to prepare a meal. There were no microwaves, door dash or meal kits. In fact, everything took longer. It has often made me wonder If when someone knew that it took hours to prepare a meal, how much gratitude often followed.

When we wait for so little, it decreases the value we place on it and our gratitude for its significance.

So, I‘m on a quest to increase my patience. While we wait, we have to remember that it’s not just about the ability to wait, it’s also about our attitude during the wait. So, I’m trying to drive slower, place more importance on what truly matters and notice the effort people put into the many things that I so easily take for granted. I fully recognize that this is a journey that will never end because I will always need to grow in this area.

Would anyone like to join me?

Would anyone like to join me?

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