Today was a good day. A long day (Tuesdays always are!), but a good day. Caring and kindness go hand in hand, right? Well, I guess not always (I won’t go into the horrific details that just poured into my mind), but in general if you care for someone, you are kind to them. If you are kind to someone, you show that you care. Okay, we all agree. Good. Moving on.
A few instances of kindness and not so kind behavior were witnessed throughout my day. I would say that’s probably typical, except for those days where everything seems be on the not so kind end of the spectrum. What sort of brought all of this up was tonight at the park, when I kissed my baby girl goodbye (she’s having her first sleepover at her cousin’s house! Ahhh! That’s an entirely different story and blog post…), and I said to her “Have fun, be safe, and be kind.” I don’t usually say, “be kind” when leaving her and it made rush of weird emotions run through me.
Earlier at the park, a couple of kids showed some bratty, not so kind, behavior. They’re kids, it’s bound to happen, but it still made me cry on the inside a little bit. But that’s not really a big deal. They are testing boundaries (that are hopefully being set by someone).
Then even earlier today, I was treated absolutely differently, albeit still somewhat with kindness, than a peer of mine, and I know it was completely based on our looks. I wore scrubs today, had my hair pulled back and no makeup on… I was definitely on the hot mess express. My peer was not dressed or made up similar to me in ANY way; not to mention our outer appearances are much, much different. In general, I absolutely could not care less what people think of me. Am I the prettiest? No. Am I the thinnest? No. Do I have the best skin and makeup? (I will soon enough… eh hem, Rodan + Fields and Maskcara Beauty… Uhh…) I mean, no. Am I the tallest? No. Not even close, lol. Do I have the best singing voice? The best athletic ability? The best teeth? The best anything? NO! None of us do, duh! That’s the point! That pretty glow is not always found in our perfectly smooth skin and flawless makeup application. It is found in our character – our care for others, our empathy, our kindness.
I have an overactive empathy gland. For real. My cup runneth over for everyone. Sometimes it is a lot to handle. I feel everyone’s hardships and heartaches as if they are my own. And then I have my own to deal with. That’s why my motto is “I’m just trying to keep my head above water.”
Honestly though, I think that’s why I love my job and my job loves me. Empathy. In my opinion, you can’t be a very effective therapist without empathy. Every day I look into the eyes of the kiddos I work with, and I feel their soul. I can see their struggles, their achievements, and their desires. I know that sounds crazy or cheesy or something, but I truly feel this. It’s hard to balance, but it has to be done. Find that balance. Find your empathy. Find your kindness. It will help you find that pretty glow.