I struggle with not taking things personally. The children are being hooligans to eliminate my last shred of sanity. Craig is deliberately not listening to what I’m saying just to make me angry. That text message I just got sounded mad. Why is so and so mad at me? (note: tone can be tricky to interpret in text conversations. tread carefully there).
Me me me. Yup, that’s right this is Sarah once again thinking the universe should revolve around her and her feelings and hurts and troubles. (Sounds like I’ve been bitten by the victim bug eh?)
Slowly (very slowly) I’m realizing, it’s not kind to assume other people are jerks. (Assume makes an a** out of U and ME!)
Last month I borrowed the audio version of Brene Brown’s newest book Rising Strong from the library. One of the things that struck me about the book was a strategy for dealing with people who get under our skin. Brene said she chooses to believe that everyone is doing the best they can.
Everybody is just doing their best has become a helpful mantra in dealing with those closest to me, my children and my husband.
I’m able to look at Fournado meltdowns in a completely different way when I hear myself say she’s only doing the best she can. It makes me a kinder mom.
I’m able to gloss over misunderstandings with my husband more easily when I hear my inner voice say he’s doing the best he can. It makes me a kinder wife.
Is it true? Is everybody actually doing the best they can?
I don’t know.
Probably not all the time but who am I to judge when someone is and when they aren’t?
Our brains tend to project our inner crap in layers over the life outside of us that we are observing. This means we are experiencing the world and, in particular, our relationships through old wounds and past mistakes. That’s the bad news.
The good news is we can change how our mind functions. We can change how we see the world. It takes practice.
We need to remember that practice doesn’t make perfect. It makes better.
Now, what about ourselves? Precious mama, you are doing the best you can. I am doing the best I can. In this moment, this is our best. This doesn’t squeeze out the possibility that our best can get better. Trust me we are made more whole by our own kindness toward ourselves.[bctt tweet=”Trust me we are made more whole by our own kindness toward ourselves.”]
The other day I read a post by Cara Meredith (she’s also a #wholemama writer) about how she consciously decided to use her me time solely for the purpose of refreshing herself. Not buying her husband a new shirt. Not looking at new shoes for her children. Just honing her time for self-care.
This isn’t selfish. It’s kind.
In fact, Cara’s post sparked a great big aha moment for me. I’ve been going on, what I’ve deemed, mental health walks. I thought it was just the exercise I needed to boost my endorphin count and help me be
a more civilized human happier. So I took my children with me. Who knew that all 3 children whining about the cold, their tired legs, being thirsty and on and on would not help revitalize me? (Let me tell you having one’s 4-year-old lay down in the middle of the road and refuse to get up because their legs don’t work anymore is a killer way to get yourself a mood boost).
I started taking my walks by myself. No guilt, no other agenda, just me and a favorite podcast out in the fresh air. Maybe stopping to take a picture or two, because I can without fear that a pickup truck is going to round the corner and take out one of my offspring.
Leaving behind my responsibilities for an hour so I can regroup is big time kindness for all of us. This isn’t greedy, it’s a necessity.
Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel. –Eleanor Brownn
This is how my best becomes better.
And so begins the practice of kindness. Maybe it starts with deciding that you and everyone around you are doing the best they can.[bctt tweet=”Maybe it starts with deciding that you and everyone around you are doing the best they can.”]
This post is linked up at Overflow for #wholemama where the lovely Krina has written the anchor post this week.