Irritation washed over me yesterday afternoon as someone at my gym insisted that I wear a facemask.

“Doesn’t she know that you don’t have to wear a mask if you’re exerting yourself?” I wanted to scream out, as if I even understand the current rules. 

“Besides…” I continued inside of my head, “She knows that someone I love greatly is battling cancer. The mask rules in gyms are unclear… she needs to back off!” 

The more I thought about it, the more “right” I was and the more “wrong” she was. 

Eventually, my irritation prompted me to walk over to a friend and say, “Here, take my frustration,” as I touched my palm to hers… fully ready to be done with the righteous volleying going on between my ears.   

My friend knew what I was referring to, and initially offered me comfort. Then, a few minutes later she said, “Misti, I know you seek to understand… so, I want to share with you that she has been losing clients because people aren’t wearing their masks appropriately.” 

Shit! Her livelihood is being threatened, and you could help with that by simply wearing a mask a little more, I thought, trying to stop myself from being agitated with my imperfect, and struggling, self. 

It makes sense that I was too wrapped up in my own hard stuff to think outside of myself, and those I love. With that, I offered myself compassion and made a decision to be as supportive as possible in the midst of such uncertainty and change. 

A couple of minutes after hearing about her struggle to keep clients, a different friend sent me this picture quote: 

Being rude is easy.
It does not take any effort and is a sign of weakness and insecurity.
Kindness shows great self-discipline and strong self-esteem.
Being kind is not always easy when dealing with rude people.
Kindness is a sign of a person who has done a lot of personal work and has come to a great self-understanding and wisdom.
Choose to be kind over being right and you’ll be right every time because kindness is a sign of strength.

Alas, I am a work in progress… we are all.

In the midst of immense change, challenge, and fear, we are all being called, in various ways, back to loving kindness… from the inside out.

This experience, and this picture quote, have become a calling to a whole new level of awareness and kindness… for this, I am thankful.

Where are you being challenged right now, and how will you use it as an opportunity to rise? 

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Here’s to your greatness, 

Misti Burmeister