Sunday, January 31, 2016

Kindness: Wonderstruck

This challenge is to express kindness to someone in your life whom you don't naturally connect with or who intimidates you. Demonstrate God's goodness and love in a practical way, reflecting on how your actions affect your attitude with this person.

Well. Sometimes the person who intimidates you is someone quite close to you. It can sometimes be hard to naturally connect with someone with whom you have natural connections. My mother.  I love her dearly, but I often feel marginalized by her. It has gotten better as I have gotten strong enough to stand up for myself. But I have bipolar disorder. If I am struggling and have to deal with her, I allow her power to make me feel an inadequate child.

This happened recently as I went through a depressive episode. She reduced me to histrionic tears by criticizing my choices. I resolved not to contact her until I was stronger. Then this challenge....

So I called her. I asked leading questions. I even pretended interest when she told me about the TV shows she was watching as we spoke. (She rarely gives me her full attention, even when we're face to face. Another way to make me feel unimportant.) But I showed her kindness, no matter what she said or how she said it. I hung up from our conversation a bit frustrated, but not inconsolable. Actions do affect attitude. And that's the wonder of kindness.

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