Wednesday, April 11, 2012
K is for Kindness
When I was in my 20's, I couldn't understand how anyone managed to like living to be 50 or 60 or older. I would look at people's faces and see all the wrinkles, the lines. How their bodies morphed into something resembling an apple from an hourglass.
Though there were always exceptions to this rule, I just couldn't see myself getting old. And I wondered how anyone could do it.
But time and gravity plays tricks with us all. I'd suck in my tummy (which is getting smaller every day, thank you) when I used to look at myself in the mirror in the morning, and I'd see a young woman of 20, not the one that was there. Until recently.
Now I see my body for what it is and what it is not. Wrinkles and all. Lumpy parts and parts that still manage to stay smooth and soft. I am seeing more and more the reality of who I am. And okay, I will admit it publicly, expensive underwear helps!!
Part of my journey this past year has been to learn to do with less, to learn how to manage the big stresses in life, when it looks like it all will be taken away. At some point this past year I realized that I didn't own my stuff, my stuff owned me. A friend reminded me that I stressed over giving up some of my stuff because I placed too much importance in it. Otherwise, it wouldn't cause me so much pain to lose it. The really important things in life are not made of stuff.
A great competitor of mine in my former business gave me this quote that I love: Don't wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty. But the pig likes it.
Yes, I am grateful for the wisdom that comes from years of making mistakes, saying the wrong things, and learning how to listen more and speak less. Being kind is a virtue that comes gracefully with age, and from appreciating every living being, regardless of the odd little worlds they drag around with them. It comes from releasing the resentment or fear I hold onto. Making an extended hand instead of a fist.