go back to kindness

Yesterday ended up easier and harder than I expected. Isn't that always the way? Hanging out with Remy was easy, because neither of us had much energy, so we just snuggled on the couch most of the day (and he watched Blue's Clues while I finished reading The Inheritance Cycle... I am undoubtedly going to have more to say about those books later, but let's move on for now).

When my love got home. Oh. He had had a terrible day, which started with our fight. I was mean. I'm mean when I'm tired. It's sort of a fall back crutch for me, that I know exactly what to say to get people to stop messing with me (and that those are not usually nice things). This is one of the downsides of being me: I'm incredibly empathetic and kind until I feel crossed. And then watch out. This is why I practice kindness. Because I need to. 

I'm not going to go into specifics. We are both human. We love each other to the end of the world and back. Saying one mean thing in a fight isn't the end of the world and we both know that (we've both done that). We're ok. We get angry, we work through it. I apologized. As profusely as I could, while maintaining my original boundary.

But I wasn't proud. I wasn't happy. I was sad had flash backs of the times when I used to beat myself up for each transgression I made. (Before I started the practice of remembering we are all wabi sabi human beings who need love. Before I started practicing self-kindness.) I think being sad that I had hurt my partner is a valid response, but I knew I did not need to continue beating myself up.

Look, I am trying not to sugarcoat this. I really could have continued to beat myself up. After all, I deserved it, right? I had been mean. That is so not in my personal ethical realm. (And worse, because I wasn't feeling good, I waited til my husband got home to apologize. Which wasn't fair, since I regretted what I had said almost immediately after he'd left for work.)

But here is the truth as I see it right now: it does no one any good to beat them up about something that has already happened. It doesn't do him any good and it doesn't do me any good. Beating myself up doesn't change my future behavior. The one thing that has helped me keep myself from being mean in fights is kindness, my practice of kindness towards myself and others. And so that's what I did once again. I remembered I was human, I remembered we are both human. Human beings in relationships fight. That's been true for us from the beginning. (And what a difference fighting now is. It literally was about six sentences back and forth instead of hours and hours of verbal sparring.)

Go back to kindness. That's all I can do. Apologize - to him, to myself - and go back to kindness.

Kindness to my partner: giving him a head massage as he fell asleep.

Kindness to myself: finishing my book (being wrapped up in a good fictional world is one of my pleasures) and then sleeping in this morning.