Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kinder and Gentler

oh i pray to be kinder, non-judgemental, compassionate, humble, friendly and to have a thicker skin when others are none of these things.

it can be work. i look forward to the day it comes more naturally.

sure, i'm friendly to people who are friendly to me. i'm kind and compassionate when a loved one falls ill. i don't usually judge people -- we're all human, we all suffer, we all make mistakes. i have made many, many of my own.

but when it's not so easy, i'm a work in progress. i strive to be friendlier to folks who aren't the nicest. right now, i'm doing customer service at work. it's best to be upbeat and cheery from the get-go and sometimes i'm just not feeling it. i'm studying television anchors and game show hosts who come out beaming. maybe this part is just acting

when customers or my bosses are mean and condescending, i work to keep that upbeat, friendly, helpful and caring part of me around. EVERYONE'S happier if i'm nothing but nice.

if i'm nice, i find i don't get as angry inside. i'm building a boundary, so my own feelings and insecurities aren't triggered by everyone else's anger and derision. when things can role off my back, i am a MUCH happier person. i'm working, working, working on this-- lots more boundary building is needed.

kindness is new for me. i used to be miserable and insecure and angry and sad. to protect myself, i pushed others away by deciding i didn't like them. to make myself feel better about me, i'd note their perceived flaws and faults.

i also love gossip, but i think part of this is that people fascinate me. i always want to know how and what people think and what they're doing. when i need to watch is when i find what i'm doing is "talking behind someone's back."

this post seems disjointed. i'm just sort of writing whatever first comes to my head.

i haven't written much lately. life has been busy -- friends and family visiting from out of town, birthday celebrations, hectic work, et. al.

i find i've just been living. i'm not drinking or taking ambien or even drinking much coffee. instead, i'm more wrapped up in actual life, which is the goal, right? still, it's not easy and natural yet. i'm not used to living in the moment.

with food, i seem okay. i'm kind of anxious lately, which makes my stomach churn, which makes me think i'm always hungry. but i'm listening, listening -- what do i really need and want? when it's food, i give it food. still, nothing's perfect here.

like i said, a work in progress


  1. We're all works in progress. I talked about this in therapy today...about how I'm trying to be a kinder, gentler person to others. Of course, it starts with me :)

  2. I'm new to this post, however, it sounds as if something exceptional may have occurred in your life recently ... I wonder????

  3. Kim is right. We are all works in progress. If you are kind, it really does make life better. People respond well to kindness. I mean, we all need it don't we. You are living life. With all it's ups and downs and you are thinking before reacting. Like you, I work at it everyday (and have good and bad ones). It is a good thing. You are doing well.

  4. I have much respect for the honesty here. Recognizing that we are accountable for the best and worst of us as individuals, and responsible for our reactions is a facet of maturity is important. When disappointed by fellow human behaviour, having the grace and maturity to decide to hold up a mirror to oneself and work to grow in humanity is beautiful and satisfying.

  5. KIM; most important, i have been reading your extraordinary blog but not responding. your posts make me think and think and there's so much i want to say but don't have enough time to write what i want to. i need to carve out more quiet time at the computer.

    yes, kindness does start at home in our own hearts. i was such a rotten, unhappy, mean kid. it was kind of terrifying. i love when i see that i'm nice and/or generous and non-judgmental.

    anonymous: yes, something wonderful has occurred in my life. i'm still thinking about what to post about it. also wonderful is the prayer and faith and love that my sweetheart has brought into my life. you know who you are.

    linda; i would imagine that being a mother brings internal work to a whole new level. if i were a mom, my number one thing would be patience. i know i would lose calm, kind and nice very quickly, especially in the early years of sleep deprivation.

    thank you, i do feel that i'm doing well. it's been a long time coming!

    Anonymous; i love the word, "grace". it's such a beautiful thing.

    i feared that my post sounded syruppy and corny. but it rings so true for me.

    also, i'm having particular challenges as i am working in customer service AND dealing with really cranky colleagues. my natural response is defensive. my work is cut out for me!!!!!!

    thanks for writing

  6. ugh, I am sooo bad with the gossip! And I am also working on not judging others. I have just recently noticed that I do it alot. But usually the flaw that I percieve in another is something that I do, also. So who am I to judge? Also, I don't like myself when I judge others. It makes me feel rotten inside.

  7. lisalisa; i've been reading your great blog too and, as with kim, i don't have the time to give the thoughtful reply i want to. you make me think of lots and lots of things from my past and present. i so relate!

    i can be a real gossiper. and i also find that i criticize flaws in others that i don't like in myself. yeah, it makes me feel rotten inside too. you're very insightful!

  8. I like your posts that are just a good purging, a great stream of consciousness.

    Sounds like you are in a really good place... Keep up the good work, beautiful!

    We'll all get there some day, and the day we stop working on ourselves is the day we die.

  9. loving your blog! i feel like in a similar state as you with recovery. i, too, concentrate more on living today than the ED. i look forward to reading more! Check out my blog, Life With Cake!

  10. oops, sorry. i realized you do follow me. i thought you did--i just didn't see me on your blog roll. keep up the excellent posts!

  11. I'm so behind in my blog reading, I'm sorry. I love your resolutions and agree that we are all a work in progress. If we were perfect what would have to strive for? I bet you're a very kind person, and customer service can be so hard!

  12. Customer service can be tricky. I do love happy customers though.

    Its good to see you are figuring things out. I know if I'm unhappy inside, I need to get it out to my BF or friend/family, or I'll collect it inside, and it shows at work. It's amazing somedays when a customer can put you in a great mood, and it does get easier when you come across a rude individual, because they definately aren't worth your time!

  13. karen; hi! i've been thinking about you. i've been so lapse in my blogging -- everything's gotten so busy, and it's not even the busy season at work yet.

    thank you for making me feel better about my stream of consciousness blog. that's the way my mind works -- i usually zip from topic to topic and back or not.

    the last few days have been a little harder and a little stressier (i like that word - stressier.) i'm a little edgier, a little less friendly, and antsy.

    the best thing i tell myself -- this too shall pass.

    hi gg; i do read your blog. will add to the roll

    thanks for coming by. i am working on all the good stuff, although i'm very cranky today. i kind of know why, but don't quite/yet know what to do about what's bother me. being whole (for lack of a better word) can be hard!

    Harriet; i am so behind in my blog reading too. this was the busiest summer i can ever remember.

    i know you are a wonderful hotline counselor (is that the right word?) it's such important work. so important. hope you appreciate the value of what you're doing and doing so well.

  14. hey, hey sarah: so nice to hear from you. yes, customer service can be hard and under-appreciated, if you ask me!

    it's also a little tedious for me -- i'm kind of doing the same thing, over and over. and when i'm bored, i get antsy. and when i'm antsy i always want to stick something (food, that is) into my mouth.some things never change.

    from what you write on your blog, your job sounds more interesting than mine is this time of year. mine gets better when i'm on the road, though, so that helps.