It's a work in progress, this life. The things I like least about myself, I try to improve, often with very little success. Day to day, things just seem the same, and unless I do something to change that, I keep on in the same rut. Change is difficult.
Inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes a sermon, sometimes a conversation, and like today, from a passage in one of my daily reflections prayer books.
Jesus said to St. Catherine of Sienna: "You test the virtue of patience in yourself when your neighbours insult you. Your humility is tested by the proud, your faith by the unfaithful, your hope by the person who has no hope. Your justice is tried by the unjust, your compassion by the cruel, and your gentleness and kindness by the wrathful. Your neighbours are the channel through which all your virtues are tested and come to birth, just as the evil gives birth to all their vices through their neighbours."
I have evidence of this in my life, literally by my next door neighbours, who are a source of vexation to me. I'm finding them a good source of practising the virtues and I dare to say I am making progress, at least in my actions, although my thoughts need a lot more work!
With my ultimate goal in mind (heaven) it becomes easier to decrease my self importance. I think of those virtues as stepping stones on the journey. And hope I don't fall.....