When life hurts, we cry out for Love in many ways.
What’s going on? Is the world one giant Trollville? (In social media a troll is: “Someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”)
Between trolls, hectic daily life, and the current political climate, my sensibilities are suffering. (I know “they” are getting to me when I start swearing like a sailor!) To be of service, I decided to seek out and share game-changers that hopefully will make a difference in our lives.
Let Me Be Kind
1. Be kind to yourself and then to others becomes the theme. The Buddhist prayer I practice is one of the simplest, most moving principles of Lovingkindness and is a generator of the energy of love. Lovingkindness acknowledges my basic needs, offers compassion for others, and is a soothing salve for daily life:
“Let me be safe, healthy, and happy. Let all beings be safe, healthy and happy.” (my version)
These days, I have been adding, “Let me be kind,” which I feel is an efficient and powerful response to harshness, life-trolls and any other drama or situation. I want to be succinct with this piece today, because if people take even one step it could mean World Change! In my work with others, I encounter a lot of misidentification with unworthiness and self-denigration, especially among women, although women have not cornered the market on self-loathing, by any means. I have heard it said that the Dalai Lama was quite unbelieving at the Western concept of unworthiness and self-loathing. He even called for repeated translations in order to completely understand. Many of us unconsciously make all manner of beliefs and judgments into false identities:
“I’m not smart enough, good enough, strong enough.”
“I’m not creative.”
“I always make the same mistakes.”
“I’ll never be a writer because I can’t spell.”
“The world is a scary place. I’m never safe.”
“I’m always sick.”
“No one wants me. I’m going to end up homeless and alone.”
2. Stop beating yourself up and creating false identities! Like a bell struck by a hammer, false identities, created by negative self-talk resonate painfully in your emotional body/mind. Negativity reverberates again with harsh words or ideas coming from others. Pressed to the breaking point, we lash out at the source of the pain! (Rinse, repeat.) Here is the cycle we want to interrupt!
3. Let us take steps to heal ourselves, first. Doing so will cultivate a mindful mental and emotional state within. From that place, we will experience the positive effects of kindness on our own body, mind, and soul. As we feel improvement, we can recognize the feeling when we “see” it. We learn to appreciate the effect of kindness in our own lives, and then sympathetically in other people’s lives around us.
4. Instead of reacting to harshness with more abrasiveness, try a kinder more clarifying response.
Ask a question that seeks to understand, or re-frame what you heard them say: “So what you’re saying is…” (This re-frame is the single most important agent of world change!)
5. Approach life mindfully, questioningly, and from your Curious Mind. In mindfulness, we are fully present, and we notice the effect when something happens that upsets us or triggers an emotional reaction.
6. Notice present emotion and thoughts. Your thoughts and emotions are not a command to action. Wait. Breathe. Stop and Shift into curiosity. Let curiosity inform your choice of response.
So, next time you hear harsh words from others (or in your head), pause and let that inner voice ring with a head full of kind mindfulness, instead. At the very least try curiosity;
“I wonder what the other person is asking for?” Some possibilities might be;
or perhaps Love?
NOTE: Often (likely always) the cranky; the critical-reactionaries; the trolls down in Trollville; are crying out for LOVE!
If you cannot (In the case of internet trolls, I suggest you not engage them!) offer Love, try Kindness, light Humor, or Letting Go. Kindness is a powerful middle ground. May you come to know Kindness as your friend, and please let me know if I can help you find your way in this world. firstname.lastname@example.org