After getting back from my California trip, I got to see a romantic interest after being away for a couple weeks. There was some anticipation, some trying to remember what he/we were like, and nervousness beforehand. When I finally did see him, we slowly got reacquainted and picked up in our dating time line.
Now, to those who know me, the following is obvious, but for the rest, you should know I am super sarcastic and at times brutally blunt. I deliver statements with others left questioning if I am joking and/or a jerk. I am aware of this, and it is something I am working on as in some situations it just doesn’t work. Mind you, I am also very sweet and love fiercely, but when getting to know me, this is likely not obvious. Or perhaps one can catch glimpses, but then something sarcastic comes out of my mouth and distracts them. I mention this because in dating me, I am admittedly a ball-buster and not easy to handle. Combine that with the early parts of dating where I have hesitation and guards up, plus a 2 week absence interrupting the getting-to-know-you process, and you get feisty+ me.
Crazy thing was, said romantic interest handled the feisty+ version of me really, really well. He kept on, being sweet, sharing, asking and progressing this thing we call dating. And while I responded to, “I haven’t seen you for a while!” with “Yeah, I’ve been gone,” he just kept on, not being overly sappy or a pushover, but just being great with me. He asked questions, but didn’t pry. He accepted my answers and didn’t push for the ones I didn’t want to give. He took my awkward responses in stride and still found me cute.
If I was to pick one word for how to describe him towards me, it would be “patient.” I had space to decide for myself if I wanted him close. My clearly posted guards were respected. Requests were made but nothing was demanded. And that patience allowed things to progress naturally and be comfortable.
In the following days thinking back on this date, I was really inspired by his patience with me. If someone else could show such patience to me, why shouldn’t I show the same patience to myself? I’ve been known to be hard on myself, as I’m sure we all are, and seeing someone else handle me so well, even with my awkwardness, insecurities, and all, reminded me I don’t have to be perfect or always push for “right now.” Sure, there are times when urgency is needed, but flaws will be flaws, I can fix what doesn’t work, let be what I want to be, and allow things to be natural. Nothing needs to be pushed if the time is not right. When it comes to ourselves and being with others, a little patience can go a long way and open up some doors along that way.
This week I paused occasionally to see myself as someone else might or how I may view someone else in the same situation. I found patience with myself. In that, space opened up for me to be compassionate, inspired, find a second wind, and be productive. I just had to give it space and a little time.
Here’s to us all practicing patience with ourselves and others.
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