Sweet P recently came home with some advice and I’m glad I was paying attention.
It wasn’t the usual “Kids get more homework done when they eat lots of candy.”
Nor was it a suggestion I’ve heard before about converting the garage into a kid’s fort with an iPhone and a refrigerator with pop where no grown-up are welcome. NOT EVER.
This was advice about how to get through a bad day and it’s simple: Start Over.
At any point, she told me, you can decide to start again. You don’t have to hold on to the stress of a crazy morning when you almost forgot your lunch, or the anger at your mom when she says you CANNOT wear the shorts that EVERYONE-IS-WEARING-YOU-DON’T-UNDERSTAND. You don’t have to hold onto the unkindness of others from the moment before. You can give them the benefit of the doubt and in the very next moment, start your day with something better.
Let it Go and Keep Going
If someone is unkind, then, instead of feeling hurt or angry or wanting to hurt back, you can, Sweet P says, “like look at the person and remember that they have felt hurt before too. Or like maybe they had something going on that upset them and maybe like when they acted bad to you it was because they were feeling bad about themselves so you just remember that and start again.”
In other words – like, you can just move on.
Let it go and keep going into something better. You don’t have to take it personally, be buried in the emotion of it, nor do you have to put up with bad behavior. Notice it. Then start again, either with a new attitude or in a new place that feels better.
People do crappy things and third graders will tell you ALL about it. Apparently a vast number of third graders also pick their noses during lunch and don’t think it’s cool to tie their shoes. So, there’s that.
But from this third grader I was also reminded that I don’t have to take in that snark. I can be more compassionate, remember that everyone has a backstory – and their story does not have to be a part of mine. I can help, if needed. And I can move on. Silently wish them well and start the day over in a way that might feel just a bit better.
This is a compassionate approach for all of us, I think. And keeping cool and compassionate when others aren’t is one of the most powerful things you can do to stay grounded and calm in an uptight world. It also leads to better feelings all around.
What do you think? How do you cope when others drop their rude mood on you?
What helps you to move on?