Right before I left for St. Croix, I went out to get a new pair of shoes, because my other ones were falling off of my feet. My daughter, Rachael, helped me pick them out and I took them for a test walk around the store. I decided to buy them. After I got them home and had to put them on myself, I discovered that it was pretty difficult. I bought them because they gave me a lot of support, but they were a pain in the behind. There were straps and buckles and these shaky hands just couldn’t make it work. I got frustrated because it took me several minutes to get them on, and then the more impatient I got with myself, the shorter temper I got with the shoes. I just figured that it was the way it was, and that I’d have to just deal with these shoes.
As I read part of the book called, “The Sky’s the Limit,” by Susie Bennett , about her experience with cerebral palsy, I came across the section about how she taught herself to put on her leg braces. It was a real struggle for her to do it, but she looked forward to the independence it would bring her. The light went on when I read about that, and I decided to be more patient with myself. I would deal with my shoes; if she could do it, I could do it, right? Instead of saying to myself, “I got the wrong type of shoes,” I focused on telling myself, “Yes, I can do this.” It became an opportunity to discipline my thoughts. I needed to give myself grace; and being more patient with myself helped me to remember, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” Ecclesiastes 7:8.
Last week, my friend was coming to pick me up and, I would have loved to have been ready when she got there. Instead, when she arrived, she had to watch me put on my shoes and she said, “Oh you should just take them to the shoe shop and have the strap lengthened.” Being independent and ready when people arrive can easily become a source of pride, but there is a balance between being patient and prideful. Later on, I went to a place by my house called, ‘The Shoe Dr’s,’ and he had some great ideas and my shoes are good to go! Getting a new prospective on problems, helps us to solve problems in new ways.