Authentic kindness is a habit that I live and strive for – kindness without judgement towards others and myself. I use the term strive as it’s my ongoing life-long journey to develop greater awareness.
I was recently called out at an overnight dinner party with some close friends. These friends are like family and we organize these events as often as possible based on our geographic distance and busy schedules. I was sipping a lovely glass of cab when the wife of the couple sat down beside me and unexpectedly began tear into me about my behaviour at a summer event, specifically how I was communicating with my wife. She said “Brian, that’s not you”.
This certainly caught me off guard as it’s been a while since I’ve done any damage or blown myself up in public circles – but the familiar pit-feeling in my stomach returned that brought me back to a more careless period of my life when I felt that sensation all too often.
My relationship is not perfect we have experienced various ‘seasons’ over the course of our 15 years of marriage. It’s not always summer! During the period in question we were in frigid rainy season and I was extremely frustrated and holding resentment.
I’m sharing this as it was a wake-up call for me and an opportunity to step back, reflect and reset. I’m fully aware that we cannot control how others behave or project emotions towards us, we can only guide how we respond.
It takes time, but ultimately with awareness and practice developed with meditation and self-reflection, we can choose how we respond and avoid being triggered into a primal state of mind. Not only from negative outside influences but also from our very own thoughts. We can notice them come and then go, without participating.
I’m grateful for this lesson. Kindness is something I’m always aware of and it’s very important to take responsibility for any negative patterns in my own behaviour and work to Rewire for the better.
I’m also grateful to have such amazing supportive friends who are not afraid to tell the truth and provide some tough love when needed. It’s very comforting knowing that my wife has fierce strong women allies who have her back.