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Even the nicest people can struggle with kindness sometimes, especially if they’re having a bad day.
Especially those moments when someone doesn’t seem ‘worthy’ of kindness…
Sound familiar? When it’s been a rough couple of days or even just a tough few hours, in the heat of the moment it’s easy to be horrible to ‘horrible’ people.
(Notice, horrible is in quotes!)
In the past, when I lived behind my ‘walls’, I usually came across as cold:
• If a stranger said hello, I would ignore them. I wasn’t meaning to be off-putting or make them feel ignored; it was a defense mechanism.
• If someone was rude to me, I would react immediately and almost viciously. It made me feel safe.
I’ve since learned a lot about myself, and about others.
When someone is treating others cruelly, it’s usually because they don’t feel good about themselves and/or they are having a bad day.
And when I reacted in a spiteful way when someone was rude to me, it was not out of pride… It was because I didn’t like myself.
I was subconsciously creating a cycle of negativity by reflecting someone else’s poor behavior back at them.
Now that I am aware of my own behavior and WHY I behaved that way, I find being kind on a regular basis not just easier than always being in ‘fight mode,’ but also healthier, less stressful. Plus, it makes me feel good.
Allowing myself to be present in the moment allows me to respond rather than react.
I recently had an experience at the pharmacy where there was a computer error regarding my prescriptions.
Before figuring out what the problem was, the pharmacist was quick to blame me, going so far as to raise her voice at me. Instead of reacting defensively, I was able to stay present and could see her frustration. I realized I had never seen her behave this way before and that maybe she was having a bad day.
Now, I’m not saying that makes it okay to treat someone badly BUT was she really aware of how she was treating me?
I stayed calm, and it all got figured out. I even wished her a good day with a smile when the transaction was complete.
Before leaving the store, she found me to apologize and to express her appreciation for my patience.
I still have days when I’m triggered.
We all will.
We’re beautifully human.
The next time you’re feeling defensive, ask yourself: what am I afraid of?
Remember that, just like you, everyone has their own story, their own pain, and their own fears.
When we act out of kindness, even when it doesn’t seem earned or deserved, everybody wins.
Feeling ready to dive into your own dose of vulnerability with a deeper sense of wonder and joy? Join us (& Tara) for our LIVE Embrace Your Darkness Challenge, starting February 13, 2017!
Here are just a few things Embracing Your Darkness can do for you:
• Improve relationships and communication
• Strengthen your leadership skills
• Overcome self-sabotage
• Increase authenticity to impact everything from your career to your love life
• Bring together your overly-brilliant mind and your deep feels so they can finally chill out and become one
Join our Embrace Your Darkness Challenge >>