In the spirit of #keepinitreal, I am often unkind.
I am compassionate. I have a heart for justice and equality. Yet, I can be blunt, judgmental and harsh – especially to those I love most. Perhaps it is part of being human. That doesn’t mean it is acceptable. That doesn’t mean it is who I want to be.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~ Dalai Lama
In 2015, my word for the year was stillness. I made some tiny inroads, but nowhere near enough. My life is amazing, but insane. Between work, travel, co-running a home and family, volunteering with church, and community life, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Patience falls ever lower on the list.
I am realizing the path to greater stillness and peace may actually begin with greater kindness: kindness to my Beloved and our children; kindness to our extended families; kindness to my collaborators and friends; kindness to strangers. And kindness to myself.
I grew up in a deeply passionate household. There was fierce love. But there was also just fierceness. We are an argumentative bunch. We like to fight, with lots of screaming and shouting. It’s the Mediterranean ancestry perhaps (ever notice my name is the Greek-est ever?). While it meant we didn’t hold in fractious issues, it makes for an exhausting and combative environment at times – and someone always says something to regret afterwards.
I’ve taken some of that into my own family. When I’m tired and stressed and overwhelmed (and quite frankly that is a lot of the time), I shout and yell. Words come out of my mouth that I instantly regret. I am snappish and impatient and frustrated. I am angry too often, so much more than I want to be. Ever. It’s ridiculous, and immature and it’s not reflective of my higher self.
My one word for the new year is not original. It’s not new or fresh. But it’s what I need and what my family needs from me. My word for 2016 is kindness. And as the children’s song so wisely states, that kindness begins with me.