I went for a walk yesterday as a gesture of self-care and because I allowed God to lead me where to go. Not a minute into my walk, and I came across this sign.
Suddenly it came to me: Slowing down an act of kindness, to both ourselves and others.
When we react too fast – just like driving too fast – we increase our chances of crashing into others’ boundaries, harming both our loved ones and ourselves.
Likewise, when we react quickly, we are not taking the time we need to check in to see if our responses are aligned with our values and what we truly want. For example, if a loved one says something that triggers me and I react out of anger, the interaction often escalates. I am coming from a place of “you hurt me so I will hurt you because it’s too vulnerable to share that I am hurt.” Taking a moment to digest what is going on, sorting out my feelings, and connecting with what I really want guides my actions differently.
When I slow down, I realize that what I really want is to maintain a loving connection, and I am hurt. I wish they would not have said what they did and I want them to be aware of that so that hopefully they will not do it again in the future. But perhaps they did not meant to hurt me. I may be making assumptions (often the case). I can clarify my boundary for the future and we can collaborate to get on the same page.
Slowing down does not mean allowing others to step on us; in fact, it is the opposite. Slowing down allows us to identify and keep our boundaries, while respecting others’ as well.
So, please slow down. It’s okay to take time to make a conscious and aligned decision about what you want and how you will say it. It will benefit both you and your loved ones.