Day 300 – More Kindness, More Often
I used to be the poster child for self-inflicted suffering. There was always something to be worried about, stressed about, unhappy about. Very rarely did I take the time to enjoy the moment. Someone would annoy me, there would be a situation I had to get out of or I would believe that there would be something that would make everything all better if I could just…
I saw myself reflected in Michael as I watched Thirty Something last night. In season 1 episode 3 Michael has everything: a beautiful wife that supports and loves him, a healthy child, a flourishing career and supportive friends. Yet, he is miserable. He sees his glass as half empty. He feels that at any moment his world could come crashing down around him leaving him living his worst nightmare. He’s so focused on what could happen that he cannot focus on what is happening in the moment, or how good that moment is.
I can understand his way of thinking and living. I lived that way myself for many, many years. It was easier than facing the truth. It was a cop-out. It meant I didn’t have to take any responsibility for my part in my own suffering. I didn’t have to analyze my thoughts to see that it was me that was making my reality one of negativity. I didn’t have to sit and face the fact that I didn’t like myself or my life very much. I didn’t have to admit that I was a coward living a life of suffering because I was too scared to have the courage to face my own shadow.
It took immense courage and bravery after living through a terrifying relationship to finally admit the role I was playing in my own personal tragedy. I think this is why I feel so inspired and humbled by others I meet who have and are brave enough to be responsible for their own happiness (here’s a link to a friend of mine who is doing just that). I understand how courageous they have been to sit down with themselves, ask tough questions and make a change in their lives and in their thinking.
I believe this is ultimate act of kindness we can bestow upon ourselves. The kindness to stop all the games, push away all the distractions and finally find the courage to face ourselves with all our light and shadows. To smile and take that first step in continuing on into a life of self-responsibility.
I was reminded of this act of being kind to myself today by many people in my social networks. It was as if today was ‘international be kind to yourself day’. I took note and took action. I observed my thoughts, thought about what I was saying to myself and the choices I was making. And it paid off.
I went out to a filmmakers mixer. I hate those things. Okay, well, hate is too strong. More honestly, mixers strike right to the heart of my fear center and resonate out shaking every bone in my body until I am no longer in control of my own limbs or speech. I laugh a LOT, I don’t know where to put my hands, I sigh. I look around the room hoping, praying for anyone I know so I don’t have to stand alone in a corner wondering why I can’t just wander up to a complete stranger and have a conversation.
Luckily, a friend of mine was at the mixer. She introduced me to a TON of people. I met some professors I had taken classes with while at grad school. I reacquainted myself with people I’d known at school but hadn’t known socially. I talked to a lot of people, great people, including a Shambhala practitioner. It was all rather unexpected. I regained control of my limbs. I asked a lot of questions, and generally acted a lot more confidently and kindly with myself than I usually do.
I reminded myself that I didn’t have to be outgoing, the life of the party or a social butterfly. I recognized that I simply had to be patient, warm and friendly, and that eventually I would talk to strangers, hand them my card, possibly even get their phone number.
And I did. And it felt good. And I made the mental note that I need to be kinder to myself more often.
Were you kind to yourself today?
RIP Tripp. The world will miss your precious little soul. #LoveBomb