I've tried 'trying harder'. But forcing love just makes me more bitter and cross at the end of the day. I've tried praying and have asked frequently for supernatural injections of love and patience but the results have been disappointing.
It struck me the other day that perhaps I am attempting to 'manufacture' fruit instead of preparing the conditions for the fruit to grow naturally. Rather than focus on the fruit itself, I need to look more closely at where it is growing.
So taking a roundabout look at each of the fruits of the spirit in turn, and what they need to blossom may be more helpful. It will give me an interesting picture of what life 'in the Spirit' might look like.
For example: I find it hard to be patient when:
- I'm rushing
- I have expectations of other people that they don't share
- I am focused on the things I 'need to do' or I'm trying to do too much.
- I have a lot in my head at once.
- I forget about the real goal or purpose of my life.
- I have not slept or eaten properly.
- I am not rested sufficiently.
- I am angry and have not told the truth about my feelings.
- I am worried.
So from this I know I need to slow down - in both physical speed and emotional intensity. I need to take care of myself in terms of food and rest. I need to tell the truth and not hide my feelings. I need to be sensible in what I am trying to do and understand what I can take on. I need to give up my need to be a superhero and achieve everythign. I need to organise myself with enough time, or else be willing to give up deadlines.
With enough steady slow watering, my patience will grow!