Being Kind Trumps Criticism
I’ve had a revelation this past week … being kind trumps criticism!
It started with a visit to Sydney by my sister for her 60th birthday. We have a close relationship yet sometimes I find it very challenging to be kind rather than critical of her behaviour when I do not agree. It is an old habit and one I have found very difficult to break. This time I chose to be conscious and aware of my own insidious tendency to get stuck in my head, ramping up the infernal, internal dialogue of criticism and judgement.
It started well, I felt peaceful and detached and told myself that whatever happened, I was going to be loving and kind … and it was going really well for about 2 hours! Then something happened and straight away I felt myself getting frustrated and the internal judgemental, critical chatter began: “why is she doing this?” “She should know better” “Is she just doing this to get at me” etc etc. I didn’t say anything, I just felt it all swirling around in my head and in my body. And then I realised my sister was reacting to my judgemental energy … I didn’t need to voice my criticism because she could feel it emanating from me anyway … and then she started to react in kind.
What happened next is what began to change everything …
Rather than simply engaging in the old habit of pushing back and fuelling the A<>B conversation, instead of needing to be “right” by making her “wrong” … I stopped, I took a breath and I chose to let go of my critical thinking, I chose to let go of needing her to change so I felt better, I chose to connect with being loving rather than agree once again with my fearful thinking … and I felt my energy shift.
And so did hers!
I experienced a profound sense of peace and the weekend continued as I had consciously intended … loving, kind, peaceful and lots of fun. Oh yes, we had a few more moments of tension sprinkled throughout the next 3 days yet the cloying stickiness of the internal judge had loosened somewhat so neither of us got stuck like rats on the wheel of our old painful way of relating.
Once again the message was simple … though not at all easy!
Being kind, being loving, being who I AM … particularly when challenged by someone I love … produces a loving response in return.
Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.