Life’s tainted glasses

The older I get, the more I see, feel and realize that although we are all human, our desires are not necessarily the same. 

Social media, for example, is full of conflicting opinions. People seem to interpret any post or article from the depths of their own pain, frustration or joy. We see the world through our own life’s tainted glasses, and of course they all differ. After all none of us has exactly the same life to live. What happens to us and around us, makes us. Moulds us. Forms us. Steers us. 

We’re all on a journey of our own, seeking answers of our own and battling battles of our own. Sometimes our views are constricted by the fog of fury, the pain of grief, or the bliss of ignorance. Sometimes we get stuck in thoughts or emotions, we become infected by self righteousness and unprepared to let anyone else in. 

Yet we yearn for connection, we long for love and we want to be seen, heard and acknowledged. I’ve realized that when we judge others harshly, we mostly come down hardest on ourselves. The more we judge, the more judgement falls upon us, not only by others but also by our own inflicted standards. This vicious circle keeps us in defensive mode immediately triggered by attack mode when we read or watch something that hits a sore spot within us. Pain makes us lash out. The deeper the pain, the more we feel we have to defend it.

What if we allow a little bit of softness into our souls? What if we become kinder to ourselves, more forgiving and less judgmental of our own actions? What if we start rooting for connection and understanding by opening and daring to show our own pain and vulnerability to ourselves and to others? What if being kind and involved becomes fashionable again? After all, kindness is long-lasting, durable and repays itself without effort. 

We forget that behind all acts of anger, great pain plays a leading role. Yet we only see the anger and defend ourselves from it, to avoid the pain it may inflict upon us. Let’s dare to tread into our pain level and learn to speak to each other from there. Only then can we move to a place of compassion, empathy and willingness to understand. 

After spending most of this past year at home with my own kids and only visiting friends and family once in a while, I realize that having spent the time apart from them has reset my own sense of connection. The imaginary weight, of having to keep up with everyone all of the time and remaining available for any possible (work) opportunity that may arise, has been lifted. In it’s place came a sense of relief, and emotional caring – be-it – from a distance that have allowed me to focus more on myself whilst still allowing plenty of room for others in my life. 

It’s like taking the time to do nothing. We’re afraid of not being productive if we do nothing, we don’t dare come across as lazy or unmotivated, but there is so much energy to be found in taking (a little) time to sit still and do absolutely nothing. Must-do’s dissolve into nothingness and a new sense of being is born from this practice.

Change is possible – for everyone and in every way – if we allow it. 

Approach your pain with true kindness, it will allow you to soften the aches and embrace the pains. Not only will you become a more forgiving version of yourself but you’ll notice how it impacts and inspires others. Don’t force it. Let it happen naturally and in its own pace. The world will not suddenly become wonderful and perfect, but the kindness you gift yourself will create a loving and protective shield around you that will carry you when life gets hard. And life will get hard at times. There is no doubt about that.

So let’s try to brace ourselves with care and let’s move our backlashing anger to a place where it can quietly simmer down and no longer ignite to harm you or anyone else. 

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