Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Are you nice? Or kind? It's NOT the same thing...

I recently read a great post from Danielle Laporte, whose e-mails/blog posts I highly recommend for their thought-provoking and butt-kicking energy. Laporte is a champion of women and a hero to the betrayed -- in large part because of her take-no-prisoners approach to life, something most of us could emulate to move us from victimhood to triumph.
But one thing in particular stood out for me in her post. It was this:
"She knows that playing nice perpetuates irresponsibility, but that kindness is wildly fertile."
I think I've spent far too much of my life being nice...and not nearly enough being kind. Especially to myself. Nice means remembering to send the thank-you note. Kind means only attending if I really want to.
Nice is writing the cheque. Kind is rolling up my sleeves and helping.
Nice is...lukewarm. And forgettable.
Kind is hot-chocolate warm. And memorable.

What does any of this have to do with betrayal?
I used betrayal...after I could manage to get myself out of bed, showered and functioning the real world, to take a long, hard look at my life and figure out what to keep and what to toss. And yes, my husband was up for debate.
Betrayal stripped me bare, which allowed me to start from scratch – rebuilding a life that served me. I figured I'd done enough to make other people happy. Now it was my turn...
The result? The "nice" me is nothing more than a bad memory. The kind me has taken her place.
It's not easy. The "nice" me still tries to jockey her way back into the lead. She whispers recriminations, like "the Parent Association not going to like it if you say "no" to their request". Or chastises me for telling my husband that, yes, I am too busy to pick up his dry-cleaning.
Kind-me, however, is quick (well, okay, sometimes not so quick. Sometimes she's snoozing...) to edge nice-me aside. Kind-me remembers how frustrated I felt by all the demands on my time. How powerless I felt. How desperately I thought I needed everyone's approval.
She remembers the lies I told myself to keep my world intact.
Kind-me knows that nice abdicates responsibility for my own happiness. It fears the type of just-dive-in commitment that creates an authentic life. Kind ensures my happiness is top of the list. Not anyone else's list but my own.
Which is as it should be.

1 comment:

  1. Being kind to myself is something I'm learning since my husband wasn't kind to me during his affair. He wasn't there, so I started to take care of myself. And I'm stronger for it, more independent, and happier. I don't rely on him to make me happy anymore.



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