To yourself and to others.

A friend posted the following the other day…

“Why are you so nice
even to people
who are rude to you?”

“Because I, too, have been rude
to nice people,
& I know that rudeness
comes from a place of a roaring pain.
& only kindness soothes it.”

By The Word

Quotes, postings, things that make you go hmmm.

When I read this post the first time, I was struck by how real it was. I’ve been rude. I’ve been in pain. Often the person that I’m rude to have nothing to do with the pain. They just received my pain. It’s no excuse. It’s not kind, it’s not nice, It’s not right. Yet, I am human and as much as I try to ensure I control my emotions, I don’t always.

I thought of this post again, when I saw a very different post from a friend who commented that her stress levels were high. She runs a business, from home and currently has two young kids remotely going to school. She is struggling. My heart goes out to her and to every other parent who is out there trying to be a parent, a teacher, a wife/husband, an employee or a business owner.

My message to all of you is … be kind.

Be kind to yourself, remember that you are doing the best you can with the resources you have. Don’t ask yourself to be perfect. None of us are.

Be kind to your kids. They might be acting out. Feel honoured that they feel so safe with you that they know you will still love them even if they can’t handle their own emotions. They are frustrated, maybe even scared. Let them feel the emotions, maybe help them name them. When we can name things, we often feel better about them. Hold space for them. They are resilient. They will get through this.

Be kind to your staff, your co-workers. They might be going through similar stuff or just stuff. Maybe they live alone and not handling the isolation so well. We don’t know the pain others are coping with.

Be kind to your friends and family. The worst of them might be showing up. Remember we act out when we feel pain. It’s not easy. Set your boundaries. Keep them. Yet, remember we all doing our best.

Be kind to your neighbours. Be kind to the person in the grocery store that cut you off. Be kind to the driver who changed lanes without signalling.

Be kind to your partner, lover, spouse. Keep the communication open with them. You need each other.

And if you need help… reach out. People are there to help. Even if it is just to hold space for you while you cry or to enjoy a beverage with you after the kids are in bed. Maybe you need a safe place. Reach out. Don’t suffer in silence.

I was talking to a friend of mine this morning. She is struggling with this lockdown. She is feeling trapped. She lives in an area that did get locked down until December 26th. I’m from an area that has been in lockdown since the end of November. She almost apologized for complaining about her pain. Don’t compare. Don’t diminish your pain. It’s yours. We do that…diminish our pain. Tamp it down because someone else has it worse than you. Whatever you are going through it’s bad for you. It’s ok to feel the pain.

Just remember that there is pain all around us. We are responsible for how we respond to the situations we are in. I can’t think of a better response right now than to be kind. Remember that those that lashing out are in pain, are scared or are just tired. Tired of being locked up, tired of being other people’s punching bag. If we consider, for a moment, what that person next to us is going through, we might just respond with compassion or empathy vs anger or frustration. If we respond with kindness, maybe, just maybe it will create a ripple effect. Maybe your kind word, your smile, will be enough to ease the pain for that person.

Let’s try to be a light for each other.

I’m going to do my best, will you?

“When you are kind to someone in trouble, you hope they’ll remember and be kind to somone else. And it’ll become like a wildfire”

Whoppi Goldberg