“…hearing the dark voicelessness in which the words are the deeds, and the other words that are not deeds, that are just the gaps in people’s lacks, coming down like the cries of the geese out of the wild darkness…”
– William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
In 2017, I want to be less kind. That is, if I can be more me and less other, more ‘you’re going too far’ and less ‘I understand’….
I can’t remember the last time I had a new year’s resolution, but what the hell. The last couple of months I’ve been observing and reflecting this little thing, and the more I do that, the more I realize: I really want to be less kind. I don’t necessarily care so much for being kind. It’s become more like a reflex than anything else. I mean, being kind sounds pretty great, and often it is. But if you take it too far… it kinda sucks. Not so much for the people around me, but mostly for me. I don’t always – always want to rationalize and fill in and understand. It’s exhausting. Sometimes I spend so much time feeling for others, I can barely get myself through the day.
In group therapy, generalized, I met two types of people: the ones who blamed the world for abandoning them, and the ones who blamed themselves. Quite structurally, I’ve belonged to the last group. There’s also the thing that I’ve had such a pile of therapy that, now, I understand pretty much everything. This has the great side-effect that, even today, every time someone around me does something that stings, I spend hours and hours trying to figure out whether or not I have the right to feel hurt. Which is a pretty ridiculous question, but, you know, overthinking. *yay!* If you make this into a rational question, it is not so hard to end up with a ‘no’. You know, because, maybe they are hurt. Or they don’t really know how to handle words. Or they’re just tired. Or stressed. Or they’re not sure how to be kind. Or they haven’t learned how to remain kind when they’re hurt.
Blah blah blah.
This is really hard: you’ve been to mental hospitals, mental clinics, because you were told that you lacked skills to deal with yourself and others, which was probably true; so you spend years working yourself out of your mind and back in it again, repeat a bunch of times, and one day you go outside with your backpack filled with skills, aaaandd….turns out many, many people lack these skills that you now have. Somehow, you just never noticed that before. Very well, then. But I do have those skills, and since I have them I have to use them – all. the. time. Because when people are not kind back, I’m sure it’s not their fault. So: keep quiet and silently forgive them.
No. This has not made me more kind. Lately, it has made me feel very tired, occasionally mean and perpetually annoyed. So I’m going to try to be less kind and more me. I’ll be kind to the people who are kind to me. I’ll be kind to strangers on the street. I’ll be kind to the people who need it if I have some kindness left to give. But I want to stop trying to unconditionally be kind.
Just to sometimes be able to say that
I feel like- When you formulate it like that I hear- It seems to me now as if- I don’t- That hurts!
I think it’ll make me kinder, if I try less hard to be kind.
Happy New Year’s!