I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Isn’t that the kicker of life? Well, it is and it isn’t. It is one of life’s glorious paradoxes. While not knowing something can be in the forefront of our minds, as in, “I don’t have a clue as to how to…” the big lessons of life are usually out of our awareness. It is not until after we learn our lessons that the pieces come together.
Our “a ha” moments come to us wrapped in bitter-sweet packages. The clarity that comes when the enviro-friendly light bulb finally goes on is a moment to relish. It feels like, well it feels like a great many things at times. Sometimes it feels exciting, as if the world suddenly opened up its most valued opportunities; it feels like the air we breathe fills our bodies with greater expansion; it can even feel as though we’ve just been given our wings to fly! Yes, cherish those moments of awakened wisdom.
The other side of the coin is when we leave that moment, and replay within our minds the events that led up to our awakening. This can range from a deeper understanding of people who may have been involved (an awesome perk!), “if only I had…” regret, to full-blown self-loathing in times when we realise how we participated in certain events. Logically, we can see that the events needed to be played out as they were in order for us (and the other people involved) to gain our lessons. Emotionally, and as women we are emotional creatures, we can feel like utter crap.
Women tend to want to care for others before we think about ourselves. This means that we can attempt to look after another’s needs before our own. Admirable in theory, but we don’t live in theory. The truth is that we often run around trying to be kind to those around us, not realising that in some cases, not only are we not being kind to them, but we are not being kind to ourselves. The not being kind to ourselves is self-explanatory I think. When we neglect ourselves and beat up on ourselves for what we “should have” known and as a result, done, we are being the opposite of kind. I say this for awareness, and because I needed to hear it myself. We learn as we go in life, end of story. We don’t know what we don’t know, until we do. So please, let’s take a moment, or a bunch, to be kind, loving and understanding to our beautiful selves. Breathe it in.
Sometimes, as I’ve recently learned in my own learning of what I didn’t quite get, is that our thoughtful acts of kindness can come across as being pushy, distrusting or disrespectful. Ouch! At our birth, we were each granted life, our life to live, love, experience and grow. We are certainly entwined, and yet we are also individuals who have our own lessons to learn. It’s like when a parent says that they wish they could prevent their child from making mistakes, but also knows that it is in those potential mistakes that they may garner wisdom. A child wants love, support, and trust. We all do. When we step in with “kindness” we may inadvertently be sending the message that we don’t trust or respect that person to figure it out on their own, to grow, and to come through all on their own. They absolutely can.
I am a huge advocate of kindness. I am also learning that kindness can, at times, be a well-meaning euphemism for control. Smiles and warmth are lovely. Big acts of kindness are needed in our world, and remind us of connection. Perhaps, my lesson is to ask myself, before being kind, “Does what I am about to do demonstrate a lack of faith in the person (or myself!), or is my offering welcome?” I welcome your valuable feedback about kindness and your experiences with moments when you learned what you didn’t know you didn’t know.
Love Trina xo