Do no harm, but take no shit.
Have you heard this one? Call it what you want, we all have to deal with a degree of "it" in life. To be honest, I struggle with this rule. From what I have learned (or previously conceived) about kindness and the basic “Golden Rule”: you treat others with kindness and respect - just the way you would want to be treated. But how do I “take no shit”?
What happens when you have been treated unjust or have to deal with someone’s bad behavior? Because, that’s part of life. We must learn tools to overcome conflict in a healthy way. Our serenity is at stake.
Of course, we can’t go around being personally offended by everyone’s actions. We must learn to not “sweat the small stuff”, but also challenge the unacceptable. To remain silent or avoid the bad behavior does not eliminate it, it only encourages it. Every time we have the courage to stand up for ourselves, it becomes easier.
We all have bad days or bad weeks even. Bad things that have happened to us in life, and everyday stress on our physical and mental health can make it difficult to be on our best behavior. We as human beings are most definitely NOT perfect, and have many triggers contributing to our actions and reactions. We also all know what it’s like when someone treats you unkind, or know the pain caused by toxic behavior.
Choosing to live a life of kindness and mindfulness.
We must first acknowledge the role we play in our own behaviors and actions… and also protect ourselves. Just as we behave with kindness to others, we can do to ourselves.
Practicing a mindful approach to conflict, takes just that - practice. Simply having an awareness and also setting healthy boundaries can help us keep our peace of mind. Using angry, abusive language or being passive-aggressive in response to conflict, creates more harm. By stating our needs/feelings/boundaries in a calm way, “we do no harm”. By standing for our boundaries, “we take no shit”.
It’s not always easy, especially if it’s something you have been dealing with for a length of time.
In my own mindful journey, I have found that if I was keeping a running tally (even subconsciously), allowing the “shit” to fester, by the time I had the awareness or courage to say something, it came out as projectile word vomit or anything but calm and kind. Speak out immediately, even just to say “let’s speak about this later”, because addressing it brings light to the issue, and it is easier to navigate those boundaries -- especially if you are setting new boundaries for a long-standing behavior.
You may feel a new sensation the first time you do this - a spark of confidence, or perhaps a growing pain because you just conquered the first step on a difficult journey. But again, every time we stand up for ourselves it gets easier, and you may just find you have more time for joyful experiences with your redirected energy.
I"ll leave you with this affirmation for your mindful coffee time ritual:
"I am kind to myself and others. I set healthy boundaries. I channel my energy in positive ways."
Peace, Love & Coffee -