The other day, I ran into a buddy of mine.
He is a very cool person. And I would like him to think that I am a very cool person, too.
But the other day, I was really out of my rhythm. Perhaps you know the experience: you use words – normal words that you know the meaning of – the wrong way, you start a thought and can’t find a finish to it, and all the verbal flips you turn just don’t land quite right.
My buddy rolled with it. As I said, he is a very cool person. Eventually, I said goodbye with a flurry of nonsensical remarks, and walked off.
Now, in the past, I would’ve walked away from that feeling like one big fumble. But I have enough experience with these moments to know that it is here, when I feel like The Fumble of All Fumbles, that self-kindness is essential.
And I mean kindness for that part of me that really, really wants to be seen as cool, smart, hip. Kindness for that part of me that couldn’t find the right words or finish my thoughts. Actually, kindness for all parts of me.
We won’t become the people we want to be through self-flagellation. You can’t berate a flower into blooming. But you can care for it with water and sunlight and weeding. And chances are good, it’ll blossom right up.
I’ve got no power over whether or not my buddy thinks I’m very cool. Where my power lies is in choosing how I treat myself when I don’t feel very cool. And I’ve found that to choose kindness and gentleness is a far faster track to blooming than self-flagellation could ever be.