I needed to respond to someone’s email. Someone who really wanted an answer from me. Actually, more than an answer. They wanted reasons, an explanation.
And there I was, in that place where I often find myself: It’s 11pm, I’m re-reading an email, I’m torn. I want to draw a hot bath, put on a folk-trippy playlist and end the day really grateful. Should I answer the email, thereby giving up a half hour of golden sleep? (I don’t make resolutions but if I did, it would be to stop staying up too late.) Should I try to be comforting whilst explaining myself — again? Should I backtrack to appease this good person (would that be the more loving thing to do?) And by appeasing them (because that’s loving, right?) then I might decrease the risk of being: a) disliked, and b) someone talking shit about me.
Or…should I face forward, which is where I prefer keep my life pointed, and take a Sandalwood bath — the pleasure of which makes me a better person on a regular basis.
I minimized my computer screen and rolled back from my desk. And I thought, “I don’t care what they think of me. Fuck it.” But I knew that wasn’t true. Because I’m a love nugget, really, and I care a lot about other people’s feelings. Because I have a healthy ego. Because I’m a serious boss lady and kindness is always good business.
I closed my eyes and brought the person to mind. And I said, “Look, it’s not that I don’t care about you. It’s that I already expressed my reasoning — very lovingly. I showed I cared. And now,
I have to care more about my own freedom and future than what you think of me.
Not easy. But really, totally necessary. What I know for sure is that my ability to be (relatively) okay with the discomfort of boundaries — of self respect — is why I have the life I want, which is about constant creativity and a circle of true friends to love on.
It’s easier to have boundaries if you’re a heartless asshole. When you’re an empathetic love bug, it’s a bit harder.
Just the way it is.
So here’s a mantra for the Kindness Crusaders who want to get stuff done in the world:
“It’s not that I don’t care. I do. It’s that I deeply care about my [ fill in the meaningful blank ].”
Love from the inside outward. Some people will take offense to your healthy priorities. Others will take your loving example and love themselves even more.
Take a hot bath and call it another day to be grateful for your good life.
Always with Love,