I've been kind of a bitch lately. Overstimulated, overtired, cranky. Overwhelmed by bad news in the world, which I have been hypersensitive to ever since my two-and-a-half-year-old was born.
What a crazy, messed-up place our world can be. So many people are hurting. And I mean that in two ways: hurting = feeling physical or emotional pain, but also hurting = causing physical or emotional pain.
I want to expect better of people. I expect people to be kinder and more helpful. I expect people to do the right thing and to speak from love. But we don't.
And yes, I said "we" because I'm failing at it, too. If I don't come from a place of love and respect, how can I expect that from others? What right do I have to teach that message here?
It's not that I'm expecting myself (or others, for that matter) to be perfect. But in the day-to-day, I need to be kinder. I need to come from a place of love.
I need to stop rushing from one task to the next and snapping replies at my family when they speak. I need to pause and listen to their words and, more importantly, to the intention of their words.
I can be quick to take offense and I'm thinking there probably isn't as much offense intended in what they say as I come away with. Why am I turning things into attacks? Why am I hurting (both feeling and causing)?
In Happier at Home (her second happiness project), Gretchen Rubin sets a rule for herself to respond to the spirit of the gift. She realized she had a tendency to nitpick over gifts and that the point wasn't the gift itself, but the spirit with which it was given. (I'm paraphrasing.)
That's what has me thinking about responding to the intention of a message. I don't know why I take things as attacks on my character or even attacks on my time, but I seriously doubt anyone is saying, "Oh, I know how to add more work to her day!" or "This ought to make her feel like crap." (And if there is anyone thinking that about me or anyone else, shame on you!)
The point is I'm tired of hurting (both ways). I may not be able to change the world, but I can change myself. I can expect better behavior from myself, so that is what I will practice today, then tomorrow, then the next day... because I think it will require daily practice.
If I'm going to practice something every day, coming from a place of love and understanding feels important.