The most beautiful thing has happened since I launched Kerrytalks 15 short days ago. There have been confessions shared, both publicly and privately, confirming the resonance of the blog and revealing that it’s not just me. I have always thought I was alone, or at most, one of a handful: often insecure, often self-doubting, often dissatisfied, often uneasy and always weird. But guess what? Turns out I am one of many. Goodness, we are a battalion of the fundamentally flawed!
I have never felt such a sense of ‘we are all in it together’. We are a powerful community and perhaps we don’t even realise it.
A few months ago, I wrote a blog for work, called “The business of trees” and I was reminded of this when I was trying to think of a way to express the force for good which friendship and honesty can harness.
Here is an extract:
“Today I learnt that the roots of trees, which are growing alongside one another, interconnect. More than that, the trees use those interconnected roots to help support each other. So should one of the group of trees be failing, the others will send it nutrients to help it thrive.
Research has shown that one tree knows where its own roots end and where another’s begin. So this help and support is not accidental, it is given willingly, with a sense of community: we trees are stronger together.
It doesn’t end there. The next time you are walking through a wood, look up. Once the trees are growing and expanding, instead of pushing against one another, where possible, a tree will instead extend its strongest, thicker boughs out into the open space, leaving only its softer, more supple branches to mingle with its neighbours. A community of trees weathering the storms in harmony rather than battling for supremacy.
I find this so incredibly moving….”.
There are so many lessons to be learnt here….How amazing if we all behaved like trees. Roots entwined, supporting each other, raising one another up. In many ways that is exactly how we are.
That said, I consider myself a good, kind person but if I am completely honest with myself, I am guilty of making my own assumptions and my own judgments. So the next time I catch myself thinking that particular mum is cold and rude, I will stop myself – maybe she is shy, maybe she finds me intimidating (it has been said!) or maybe she has had a tough day and is just holding it together. Equally, if someone sees me being almost late for drop off again, I hope they won’t judge me, because maybe my three year old spends the first hour of every day screaming and crying and refusing to get dressed, brush her teeth, come downstairs and has done for almost a year and there seems to be nothing I can do to stop it!
Which brings me on to kindness to self.
It is too easy to think that everyone else has everything together. That their lives are as glorious as their Facebook/Instagram pictures every minute of every day. But we all have our moments and are all unsure from time to time. I am not just talking about the times we all lose it with our kids. I mean the really uncomfortable whisperings that haunt all of us in quiet moments. It is so important to halt when you find yourself looking at everyone else, thinking that you don’t measure up. Look in and lean in. Embrace yourself and your own life. The moment where you are right now. Cherish who you are and what you have; don’t be eaten up by who you are not and what you don’t have.
Finally, be master of your own thoughts. When I wrote my last piece “Unleashing my inner Wild Woman!”, one of the reasons I was so excited was because the concept of Wild Woman allowed me to be kind to myself. It unlocked a vocabulary I hadn’t used when thinking about who I am and the decisions I had made.
So all of a sudden I called myself a powerful matriarch, a lioness, nurturing, instinctive and creative. It was liberating and I felt joyful because I wasn’t attaching myself to my usual artillery of hurtful words.
So this is my call (to you and to myself): the next time you are beating yourself up, pause, breathe in and out three times and find yourself some kinder, gentler words. Compliment yourself. You are extraordinary.
Thank you to Pinterest for the images and for to the March 2017 edition of Country Living for the lesson in trees!