My mother was a master of harmlessness. She led by example, at home and also being the big cheese at work, the importance of weaving kindness and courtesy into whatever you do, with an awareness of others’ well-being.
I have been in practice of bringing my awareness to harmlessness when faced with the toughness that we are witnessing and face daily. Things have been just chaotic and heartbreaking… with what might feel like there is no end in sight.
One of the heartbreaks came when the beloved actress Betty White passed at 99 years old. Her passing felt like we were all grieving a family member. Following her passing so many images and videos of Betty inundated social media.
The quotes and conversation that I hold dear to me are theses:
“You don’t say the hurtful thing even if you’re irritated or upset, because that sticks around, or that just chips off a little of the other guy’s self-esteem.” – Betty White
“Keep the other person’s well-being in mind when you feel an attack of soul-purging truth coming on.” – Betty White
“Kindness and consideration of somebody besides yourself keeps you feeling young.” – To Katie Couric On CBS Sunday Morning, 2011
It might be that generation, but the sentiment behind Betty White’s quotes is how my mom lived her life… she was able to hold her tongue in a peaceful yet powerful way and speak with harmlessness that could stop you in your tracks and create a change for good.
Even at my age, and a decade since my mom’s passing, I can still hear her words from my childhood when I was confronted with a choice of the manner in which to respond to another; who might not be that kind, courteou or intent on harming.
“Kristen, that will only make you look bad”…. Or “Kristen, two wrongs don’t make a right.”
The wisdom of our elder Goddesses seems so appropriate and needed now.
For our own self-directed nasty talk and interactions with others. When triggered to a response, wronging someone else won’t make your unhealed wounds right. Or negative or destructive self-talk won’t move your healing to a higher level.
So, are you saying nasty things to yourself? And participating in the CHIPPING away of your truth? Harmless soul-purging truth is needed now to re-balance our world and the most important and most powerful way of change is from within.
The audio companion, journal prompt and download for living harmlessness is The Metta Meditation Prayer.
Especially now with all the tragic events and turmoil it is best to focus on loving yourself, your family and friends. With a gentle reminder, life is fragile and we must be delicate and loving.
The Metta Meditation Prayer ripple will go out into the world.
First to yourself: May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease.
Then towards others and the world: May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease.
Try writing the Metta Meditation three times per day and ask yourself: What makes me happy? When do I know that all is well? When do I feel safe? Where do I find/seek peace?
Listen to the audio companion: