I should revise the title… but “formerly” curmudgeonly Bostonian seemed like something of a mouthful 🙂
This Parenting Newsletter is about the value of kindness, and how kindness has changed my life in ways I could never have foreseen.
I started thinking about this thanks to Robin Abrahams, the Boston Globe Magazine columnist (who writes under the alias Miss Conduct, and has been a guest on my show as well).
Recently Robin wrote “How to be kinder in Boston, America’s 5th rudest city,” an article I got a lot out of, and I highly recommend you go and read!
One part especially was compelling to me, about how conversation – simple conversation with the people around us – can make us feel better.
Robin’s essay helped me extend my thinking in a different direction: the importance of being kind to ourselves.
I have a tendon disorder. I’ve lived with it for eight and half years, and it started with my right leg.
I used to tell that leg mean, horrible things.
I would say how much I hated that leg. I would tell it how useless I thought it was.
And much worse.
But what I failed to see was that my poor leg was just doing the best it could!
It was only when I started treating my right leg well, treating it kindly, that I started to feel better.
I changed my tune about two years in, working with a physical therapist to help me to see that truly my leg was just doing the best that it could.
After that I started to tell it “thank you for all that you did today.”
I would say “you’ve done so much for me today! Let’s have a good rest tonight.”
And when I treated my leg with kindness, I just felt better.
I don’t believe it was a coincidence that that’s when I started being able to build some muscle back up in that leg. Only after I started speaking kindly to it could it heal.
And now, six or so years later, my leg is thriving.
It took me skiing just yesterday. It transported my son and I to the mountain for the skiing.
It helped me feel all kinds of exhilarated, whooshing down the slopes.
Now, part of this is definitely because I got good physical therapy and did the physical exercises and strengthening required.
But I also believe that a huge part of it was mental.
Was just being kind to myself.
Which is why I hope you can incorporate some kindness into your life, for your self.
What do you think? Is that something you can do?
Just hit reply to this newsletter and let me know.
Wishing you a great weekend!
PS I talk about this bit of parenting news in a recent podcast episode, which you can check out by going to: