I Rest My Life On Kindness

by Dana Boyle on September 27, 2012

Lately I haven’t felt very kind.

I’ve had to make some tough decisions, and then share them with those who are affected.

On this journey to motherhood, this reorganization of priorities, this experience with grief and loss, heartbreak and fear, and breaking wide open, I’ve had to redefine what’s important to me, what I will tolerate and settle for, and what I won’t.

That has meant a lot of things over the past year.  Particularly in the past few months, as I’ve felt clearer, stronger and healthier, and as I’ve come to terms with what I’ve been through and continue to walk through, it’s meant I’ve had to say no, to push back, and to stop being everything to everybody.  I have had to stop reaching for approval, and stand instead in my own clarity.

I’ve learned to delegate things.  I’ve begun to ask for help.  I’ve owned what I do well and owned what I don’t.  I’ve refused to continue down paths that are toxic to me, or that drain the life out of me.  I’ve fired people.  Several people. I’ve hired people, too.

There’s a great quote out there that goes, “Be careful what you’re good at, because you could end up doing it for the rest of your life.”

I’m good at kindness.  I always have been.  I was born with it.

My mom said I tried to share my baby bottles out in public before I could talk, and once I talked, I never stopped, sharing with people, making people feel included, heard, and understood.

This week a colleague of mine told me I have a unique sense of empathy; a way of including everyone in my space; a way of making each person feel they are a part of my journey.  She said I do a great job at the intersection of a traditional role and embracing my soul’s natural calling.

On the same phone call, a mentor told me I was a natural coach.  I was just born with it.  Nobody has to teach me, I just know how to meet people where they are.  She said I have a balance of empathy while being matter of fact – just what a coach needs to be.

Then she said, “You always have something to add or share that’s pertinent, helpful, and kind.  You have a rare kindness.  You’re the kind of divorce lawyer that’s important to me.  You can rest your life on that kindness.

That just about sums it up.  I can hang up my hat and rest now.  Or, I can recognize that therein lies my superpower, and I can point myself in the direction of that north star in everything I do.

I’ve learned there are times when the greatest kindness in a situation is the kindness I must show for myself.

My mission is very clear.  To complete my mission, if I so choose, I must first secure my own oxygen mask before I help anyone else with theirs.

Be careful what you are good at.  You could end up doing it for the rest of your life.  And be careful how you use your superpower, because sometimes even when we think we’re using it for good, it’s backfiring on us.  In those cases, we have to remember to use it blatantly for ourselves, so that we can keep ourselves pointed in the right direction.

I’m ready to move further toward my north star, after some tending and tuning.  I may not have felt kind lately, but I realize now, I’ve been minding what is the greatest kindness for myself.

I haven’t blogged in a bit, but I’m back.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen September 27, 2012 at 11:13 am

dear Dana, as someone else who rests her life on kindness, I soooo appreciate this post. Please go to this page and listen to the song Kindness that has been written just for special people like you: http://davidwilcox.com/index.php?page=cds&category=03–CDS&display=302
Thank you for being YOU!!


Dana Boyle September 27, 2012 at 11:21 am

Thank you for sharing that, Karen, and I’m going to go listen now. I appreciate your kindness! xo


Jackie September 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Great insight, Dana. Being kind to yourself is a learned thing for most of us.

Love the David Wilcox link, Karen. He’s always been one of my favorite songwriters.


Dana Boyle September 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Thanks, Jackie! I agree. It’s much easier to be kinder to others even if it hurts your self, at least until you unlearn that and learn to be kind to yourself.


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