It is painful to witness my boys being expected to suffer silently or get comfortable in the presence of unkindness. Their father and I have very different principles and versions reality. Obviously. The ways in which we differ are the exact ways in which he relates to my mother and sister.
Just as I cannot discern who is telling the truth when my boys come to me in conflict with accusations, they cannot be expected to discern the “truth” between their parents . They want and deserve to believe in us both. This possibility has been snatched from them, not by divorce but by an unwholesome and damaging triangulation of my ex, my sister, and my mother.
The most I can hope and model for our sons, is to recognize genuine kindness– To learn to discriminate between friendly(social) and kind. A person can be friendly and social with one person and harsh and mean to another. Kindness is not conditional, like friendliness. It is not dependent on liking a person. Kind people just are. Some of the most well known sociopaths and criminals are reported to be friendly and charming. Both of my boys have first hand experience with charming bullies.
If a person behaves in ways that are cruel and diminishing to any other human, animal, or even the earth, they are not kind. Kind is not subjective. Kindness is unrelated to friendliness or how well you enjoy a person or situation. Kindness is a value and a practice.
Kind is not scary and does not judge or gossip. It does not require you to pretend to like, want ,or be ok with things which are not ok.
Kindness can be trusted. Because kindness, by definition, would exclude dishonesty. It is not possible to change the people to whom my sons are related and exposed. But I will break this freaking cycle of dysfunction, even if I just knock a chip of it off, that is progress. Overturning one sick myth and ritual at a time. Information is power. Faith is power. Higher power is power.
For the models of unyielding kindness and honesty in our lives, I am grateful. #blessed Because when you are not frequently exposed to kindness and gentleness, it is unfamiliar. While my children know they cannot count on me to feel happy or calm(sad truth), they can count on me to truth tell and own and work on my bullshit. 100%!! And to expose them only to Trusted Others—people who, as a rule, are kind and truthful, benevolent. In their entire lives, I have not lied to them or misrepresented in the slightest. Nor have I offered them up to any kind of non-love. They trust that they can say, do, and feel anything in my presence and it does not diminish my love for and commitment to them. Both of them. Differently but equally.
For today, I am giving up my need to be right or believed, because that is unwholesome and unreasonable and always leaves me sad. Instead, I will call out acts of kindness, courage, and truth telling. Attempting to manage people’s perceptions of the past is an insane and manipulative waste of time. Yuck. Letting that go. I miss out on the abundance of kindness in my world while I am tangled up trying to understand or prove unkindness of the past.
Reclaiming my emotional sobriety, so I will gladly accept that Day 1 chip. Thank you very much. ?
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