23rd October 2020

Patience is the ability to stay calm while we’re waiting for an outcome that we need or want.

It is often thought that patience is an innate character trait, something we’re either born with or not and whilst there are people that seem more naturally patient than others, the truth is, patience is a skill and that means it can be practised and improved.

According to research by psychologist Sarah Schnitker, there are three main varieties of patience – interpersonal, life hardship and daily hassles. 

Interpersonal is patience when dealing with other people, life hardship is our ability to be patient during serious setbacks in life, while daily hassles is dealing with dull and often unavoidable day-to-day tasks patiently.

Whilst hardly considered dull or unavoidable, of the many ‘daily hassles’ that come to test us – sorry, allow us to practise and improve our patience – our time with needle and thread is absolutely one of them!

It may be that our needlework teaches us patience through the learning of a new and sometimes complicated stitch or technique that we just can’t master… until we finally do. At other times it’s unpicking for what feels like the umpteenth time, all the while seeing the hours we’ve poured into our work unpicked along with the stitches. 

There’s also the patience required to see a large and/or intricate project through from start to finish.

The truth is, no matter how adept our skills with needle and thread, or the speed at which we lay each stitch, it’s only possible to sew one stitch at a time and that’s ultimately the reason needlework teaches us patience.

It may be a tough skill to master, but if we allow ourselves the time and grace needed to be tolerant with ourselves and what we’re putting our needles and threads to, we will eventually find the patience that will allow us to stay calm throughout our journey – not only with our stitching but with life itself. 

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