Have you seen a kind face or have you shared one today? If not, you are experiencing the same thing I am experiencing lately. The perception that world has gone derailed thinking life is hostile (hence, most people are not to be trusted) Lately, I’ve been so aware of how kindness is deeply needed. I see it because just a simple smile, a look in the eyes or a short conversation about the weather is like a major gift when I give it. People are hungry for kindness. I’ve been observing the behavior of some of the people that surround me and I can tell that fear is the main operating mode.
I can tell this because that was my go to mode too.
I see it because when that was my mode I found it hard to trust others.
I can feel it because I can sense their defenses, their walls and the other familiar mechanisms I used like avoidance and judgment.
In her latest book, Brene Brown makes mention of the habit of judging others or not believing people are doing the best they can. The data of her social work research shows that people who judge or are fearful of being judged are those who are harder on themselves. I know that too because that was me. I didn’t trust most people and it hurt. This is a burnout precursor because one feels alone and tired when you’re always with your guard “on”
Of course we live in a world were people will “misbehave”, but if you get real honest you’ll see that the “offenses” are minor, we just choose to focus on them and magnify them. In this way the word feels scary and we feel that our judgement is justified. This is the problem with righteousness – it is draining energetically, mentally and emotionally. I know that some people talk more than we’d like to, some are slower or faster than we prefer, others seem clumsy and spacey, and too many maybe rude or too serious. But that is not for you to police. Let them live, because they are actually helping you see something important. If they are annoying you they are showing you something you need to see. You’re “using them” to project something. Kindness is the remedy to this projecting habit. Making stories in your head while you avoid the inner work is the stuff of madness. There are too many people looking out, monitoring others progress, and not looking within. The feeling you get when you are in this operating mode is one of the world is against you and the decision you make, however unconscious, is to give your power to these “guilty” people. You then feel powerless, tired, used, drained….burnout.