In last week’s writing (Permission to authenticate) I noted that we’re each unique and highly complex creatures, and that often, we don’t even know or realize this.

Today’s writing follows this sentiment to a natural and gentle place– a place of mindful awareness and consideration of ourselves.

But, before we begin, you’ll need to bring two special lenses with you: 1. your lens of self-compassion; and 2. your lens of kindness. (By the way, those two lenses are of the heart, not of the mind, so, bear in mind (ha!) that, no matter what you see or discover about yourself, you have a choice in how you perceive it.)

Many years ago, when I taught at Kent State University and in the community, I often led an exercise titled “my resume of failures”. It’s a provocative exercise– one that simultaneously invites us into humble awareness and also makes us cringe.

If you do this in a small group of trusted friends, you’ll recognize something obvious— everyone has failed. If you’re in a business setting or with a competitive group, this often turns into a hilarious showcase of who has failed more and therefore should be deemed the ‘winner‘ or ‘greatest loser‘.

Most of us know that mistakes are an inherent aspect of learning and of removing the occlusions that block or cloud our awareness and understanding — and yet, we have such little tolerance or respect for this profoundly human process. Why is that?

To make a mistake means you tried something, you experimented, you went outside the prescribed path. Can you forgive yourself for living it out to see it in real time?

Here’s the magical plot-twist– when you accept and embrace your own humanity, you naturally extend it to others too. To be fully-human is to be divine. When you practice kindness towards yourself and others, kindness will be reflected back to you in a million unexpected ways.


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