Mildness, the new black

We all have that favorite little black dress… the one we have for that special event. That black shirt for my favorite jeans… or the black skirt that saves the day, when I haven’t done laundry.

Why do I say, “Mildness, the new black”? Because this world is so overrun by the opposite… Me-ism….

It think I had always thought “If I see myself as this… I am being conceited, I am full of myself…” That is why I never viewed myself as important. A friend told me once we all need to “honor our self-worth”. But, it was a “foreign language to me”. Sorry, I don’t speak French.

I didn’t have that in me, I didn’t know how to, and for a bit there, I didn’t quite believe I deserved to see myself in that way. I appreciate that someone was now, teaching me how to be outside of the box, for once, and look at me through different eyes.

What I noticed, is that when I look in the mirror, it’s always in a negative way. I never compliment my hair, my eyes, my smile… it’s always, my wrinkles, my quadruple chins, etc. I realized that I was for lack of a better word, my own worst enemy, my own worst critic. But, why?

In the stories we heard as a children, their is always a villain. The big bad wolf, the evil witch, etc. Okay, let me start by wiping this mirror, as I never noticed before how muggy, foggy, and distorted it was.

I stared back at this clean mirror, and asked, why? Why was I the one that hated myself the most? I was my own villain.

I started to “dissect” my inner me. I was always taught, others come first, then me. I now feel that though, that is a good for manners, it’s not fully accurate. We need to put ourselves first, at times, to be able to keep a healthy relationship with oneself. A person once told me, our first date should be with ourselves. INSERT BIG GULP! I never “dated” myself. I have to work on getting the courage to ask myself out. I am nervous. This will be an ongoing project no doubt. First date, here we come!

But back to this “me-ism” of which I am tired of, of this world. It involves not caring about anyone else, showing no regard for the needs of other. Just their feelings, their space, their time, etc… nothing else matters.

A while ago, I was suggested a project and was given a list of characteristics that pertained to the spiritual side of things. I research the one assigned to me, but I started to see that mildness, intertwined with love, with patience, with joy, gentleness, self control…. etc.

I noticed on my way home, rush hour traffic, that none of these qualities were shown. People honked at others because the light turned green and they didn’t sprint! Honked because they were wanting to go faster than the limit, and the person in front of them wasn’t going to go above the limit.

I thought what characteristic could I start with…

Patience… We are driving on the road, and someone keeps slowing down, over and over and over…is our initial reaction to:

a) honk their brains out

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b)scream — Idiot! What are you doing?!?!? Make up your mind?!

c) Pass them on the left, and emphasize “sign language” in a heated moment, or in a different form of expression

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What I noticed, is that as started to apply different characteristics, even if just for one day, I noticed that my life was a bit calmer, a bit more joyful, enjoyed the feeling of being happy. My blood pressure was more in control, I had less headaches, and my day went by quicker.

To some people displaying mildness, self control, kindness, comes natural.  To some it becomes too much of an effort, as they are used themselves always being put in first place.

I was at a grocery store not to long ago, and there was only one cash register available at the time. As I approached the counter, an older lady was putting her things on conveyor belt. This was the express lane, and she did have more than 10 items, and she was carefully and slowly putting things onto the belt. I was in a rush, but I thought to myself, “It is not her fault that I am running late, it’s my poor planning that has me in this predicament.” I saw her shaking hands as she pulled her gallon of milk out of her cart, and struggled… so I asked her if she needed help, and she just smiled. I am not sure if she understood, or heard me, but since I didn’t receive an answer, I just smiled back and leaned back.

A lady arrives behind me a few seconds later, and she has about 10 items, and she looks at the lady in front of me, and sighs heavily. She complains “Really?!? It says express lane 10 items for a reason!” Another person joins her, and she has to express her frustration to them as well.

At this point the older lady in front of me, is now about to pay. Her frail hands are reaching into her purse, and she realizes that she either doesn’t have enough, or forgot something. I couldn’t really hear, because of “angry pants” behind me is rudely complaining, again.

I had held my tongue long enough, so i told her, “Look if you are in such a rush, you can go in front of me, but stop complaining about this lady.”

She rolls her eyes at me, and tell me to mind my own business.

Ohhhhh…. no…..she…. didn’t! I looked back at her, and said “Well, if you didn’t breath so heavily into my ears every time you complained, maybe it wouldn’t have become my business!”

I am sure she said something, but this time, she made it a point to not be as loud about it, as her previous complaints. By this point, the lady in front of me smiled, and nodded her head towards me, and went on her merrily way.

Now, my turn to put my items on the belt… I take my time, make small talk with the cashier, and for the heck of it, “Oh, I forgot, can I buy a bag of ice please?” after she had already rang me up. I hand her my cash, she rings me up, and I said “Thank you very much!” my words oozing with caramel, if you will. I grab my cart and slowly move out of the line.

The moral? I will get to it, be patient!

So I put all my things in the trunk, start my oven of a car on, and roll down the windows, and wait a bit for my car to cool down. A few minutes later, I am heading down McDowell Rd…and I get a little of a chuckle.

The lady that had been so unkind, and complaining about this older lady, and how she was taking so long… was pulled over by a cop as she must have been speeding by.

I will leave that… to self interpretation.

So back to kindness, when we show it towards others the benefit is not just for them, we receive the benefit inside ourselves. We feel good!

How about we take a characteristic from this list below:

Choose one a day, or one a week, or one a month….however it suits you best.

Try it! If you don’t see, feel, or experience a difference in your “persona” then quit.

Allowing an opposite characteristic to be a constant in our life, such as anger… does have many side effects….

Side effects of allowing anger to be a constant in our life… to name a few…

Your choice, try each one, and make each of them, the new black!

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