And if there were a word to define this moment, here and now, it would be fear. Not an ‘I’m too scared to jump’ kind of fear, but the kind of fear that snaps at your heels, daring you to falter, stumble and lose ground. This kind of fear makes you wonder what the hell you were thinking when you packed up your life, sold your car, moved your best friend to another state and began spending money on ways to save you money. Go figure.
This kind of fear seeps in when spending too much time with negative people. Somehow, quite quickly, that heavy energy takes hold and you are dragging your feet, even if just a little.
Seven days until the now drips into the past, melding seamlessly into a future unknown, and so, indescribable. But then, the future always is.
In the past six weeks there have been tears and laughter and disappointments and surprises. In a hazy moment on a balcony a week ago, a friend mentioned a quote. I can’t remember the words exactly, and nor could she, but in our red-cheeked glow fuelled by cinnamony mulled wine, it made the most perfect sense.
It was something like:
Sometimes it is the people we don’t know so well who can teach us the most about kindness…
And as I sat there with these two beautiful women who I know, but not as well as I’d like, it seemed so apt. They had both travelled long and far, and there we shared a single splinter of time, swapping stories about beginnings and endings and all the stuff in between. All the bustling sounds around us fell still as we laughed and spoke. Our lives converged, unplanned, in a moment much like any other. How funny that sometimes we feel closer in not knowing, than we do in knowing. We can have the most amazing conversations with virtual strangers. It is in those unfamiliar situations we sometimes find ourselves stripping back layers to expose what we may not otherwise expose. There is less at stake. We have nothing to lose really.
Ironically, we become more attuned to who we really are when our reference points are removed… or simply moved.
This same night, I also saw that some people are not so kind.
Some people get kicks out of having little digs at other people. They enjoy trying to knock them down. They find it amusing to watch others feel uncomfortable and actually go out of their way to create feelings of awkwardness. And it dawned on me this night how sad that is. I wasn’t bothered. I just felt saddened that suffering can invoke such harshness and bitterness in some people. It was interesting to sit back and observe. And walking away I realised I could finally really walk away. Who needs people like that in their life anyway – all smirking and sly? I couldn’t help but think that if people so easily speak to, and about, others with such a lack of kindness and authenticity, how must they speak to themselves?
Not my battle. Not my war. Walk away.
Such a contrast in energies. Black and white. Night and day. Light and shade.
Everything has an opposite. I guess we need to experience the unkindness of some, to appreciate the kindness of others.
Seven days. Seven days of kindness.