Giving of Yourself
Society at large is in this cycle of instant gratification and self-centric egotism. I'm surprised how often a compliment or a friendly comment causes surprise in the receiver. Have you ever told a stranger of the same sex that you liked what they were wearing? I'm a woman, and I notice things like shoes, floofy sweaters and really comfortable looking pants. I'm also confident enough to say, "I really love your sweater." and it never fails that I get a second look as if they are trying to gauge my sincerity. I enjoy the fact that I can pass that litmus test. Kindness doesn't cost me anything. I'm also not looking to gain anything from it, well, other than maybe where they found the item that I'm commenting on.
Giving of yourself can be exhausting when it's overdone. It can be costly if you are already under pressure at work or at home. Burnout is a real thing. So as much as I want to sit here and tell you that you should always give of yourself, I won't because I do understand what happens when you are so tired that getting dressed or making it to that thing you have to do is all you have the energy or brain space for.
Being authentic and vulnerable can seem like a daunting task. It's also a healthy way of connecting with other people and allowing yourself to receive others' gifts as well. Smiling at a passerby, using your manners with servers and cashiers, communicating clearly and honestly with your partners. Although looking at that seems like you are expending a lot of energy, this is minimal, and you never know what you're going to receive back.
I want to challenge you this month to take the time to be kind to someone else. I also want you to take time to be kind to yourself. While you're reflecting on this concept I also want you to take the time to really look at where you could use help; personally or professionally. Don't worry about being exceptional, or apply any additional stress to yourself. You, my friend, are already a gift just as you are.
Stay warm this month and don't forget to love yourself.