The Divinity in Me Honors the Divinity in You

How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?

It depends on what the criticism’s about, who it’s from, whether it’s solicited or not – and what state of mind I’m in when I receive said criticism.  I might be having a bad day and maybe being more tactful and compassionate in delivering one’s criticism might be better suited to me at that moment.  You never know how brutal honesty can affect someone when they’re already down.  You’re not exactly treating him with kid gloves by being tactful and kind in the delivery, but you are putting their feelings first and not your own – for sometimes, you  have to ask – why do you have to deliver the criticism in the first place unless it was asked of you?

Maybe I am getting soft – which is why prompts such as this bother me.  I know some people want brutal honesty all the way and as long as it’s fine with them, then it’s good.  It’s how we deliver criticism to others that matters.  I’ve seen people when they’re down, and I’ve seen how brutal honesty that only points out the flaws and not highlight the positives can affect an already depressed mindset.

So maybe I’d rather take it with “kid gloves” although I prefer to call it “with compassion.”  And I know I’m in the minority in this because who wants to look weak and afraid to face criticism head on?  But I’ve had enough of brutal honesty delivered my way growing up.  You’re fat.  You’re ugly.  This isn’t up to par with what I expected from you.  You could do better than this.  What were you thinking?  You need more practice.  You should you should you should

So, yes, treat me with kid gloves then, if that’s how you want to call it.  But I could have also answered this prompt with one word only.  Namaste.

Daily Prompt

Kindness

Soft drinks, electronics, nutrient-free snacks — you can get all of those from a vending machine. But what type of vending machine is sorely needed but doesn’t yet exist?

Image by MorrighansMuse

Kindness, compassion, generosity
if only these were as abundant as candy
but they’re not, they’re hard to find
probably difficult for most, these days, to be kind
so instead of a snicker
here’s a smile, it’s quicker –
though its authenticity just might be
harder to find

 

Daily Prompt

Doing Right

Tell us about something you (or a person close to you) have done recently (or not so recently) that has made you really, unabashedly proud.

Other than my little boy, whose every accomplishment makes me so happy, the one thing that I am probably unabashedly proud of is the vocation that chose me.

I’m a massage therapist – a bodyworker to some people and I specialize in pain relief and relaxation.  I entered massage therapy because of two things: the first was that everyone I worked with during my physical therapy days said I had wonderful hands, and that I should be a massage therapist.  Having grown up with a dad who did have a massage parlor of sorts as part of the gentleman’s club he owned for a few years, massage for me had the darkened connotations of dim hallways and happy endings.  Still I decided to check it out for the second reason:  to work out my issues regarding touch.

I have a history of abuse and so touch for me was really an iffy thing.  Touch to me equated sex, and nothing else.  Which meant, if I wasn’t sleeping with you, or I wasn’t getting paid to touch you (as part of your physical therapy treatment – no happy endings, of course), then I wasn’t touching you.  Period.

I was fortunate to have been blessed with two wonderful teachers when I started – Allison and John – and the gift of friendship and touch with Pam, a fellow student and later friend, who passed away three years ago from ovarian cancer, still giving massages, often for free, till three weeks before she died.  Together, they taught me the power of touch in a safe and nurturing environment that allowed me to accept new realities and truths, that a simple touch can be as powerful as the intention attached to it, and most of all, that not all touch is created equal.

These days, I don’t work the six or seven days I used to work in my private practice.  I work one to two days in my office and though I don’t have the 200 or so private clients that I used to see, I have a handful who refuse to see anyone else.  It won’t make me a rich woman working the hours I do (I also teach massage), nor provide me with a cushy retirement, but no one gets rich just giving massage, and I mean really giving massage, not buying some franchise or owning a spa – you’re a businessperson by then.

But for those of us who still do it, and like Pam, will probably keep doing it with or without pay till the day we croak, we do it because we respect and recognize the power of touch.   For the lucky few of us – practitioners or clients alike – we know how it feels when someone with the intention of pure compassion touches us.  And if I can help just one person recognize that in the way I touch them, then of that, I am unabashedly proud.

Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: This Much I Know

Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

photo by L. Stancin

This much I know at the moment –
that life is too short to not think of others
and how they might be feeling,
that even on the worst of days, when all you wan to do
is scream at the world, when everything you know is reeling
scream your rage in silence if you must,
for someone out there just might be in need
of your smile,  a gentle look, and a nod of trust.
Until then, do unto others as you would wish them
to do unto you.  Be good, be considerate.
And to your heart and soul, be true.

Daily Prompt