Day 33 of 49: Be humble continued
Living humility, making it more tangible.
Continued from Day 32.
Theme for Day 33: Be humble (continued).
I knew my mom’s birthday was on the 16th of February. I knew it was coming up this month. Yet somehow, over the last few days, I completely dropped the ball in the countdown to her special day!
I was so immensely grateful when I was the one to answer an incoming call from a friend of my mom’s to wish her a happy birthday. It was a humbling experience to admit to having utterly lost track of the dates, and categorically not registered that today was my mom’s birthday. Shameful I know!
Talk about the Universe having my back, this call came through at a time my mom wasn’t home. This gave me time to craft a selection of eight special birthday messages and strategically place them all around my mom’s home, in spots I was confident she would engage with during the course of her day.
‘What exspired you today mom?’
Most days I like to ask my kids what excited or inspired them since we last saw one another. Or better still, what ‘exspired’ them? 99.9% of the time I don’t get much of a response. I sometimes wonder if my enthusiasm may be a source of annoyance.
What I found wonderful today was that when I fetched my eldest, and he got in the car, he asked me, ‘So how was your day? What exspired you today?’
My heart melted!
Be humble — ask and listen more.
I had two experiences today of the power of asking, checking in and listening to another, as well as the easeful danger of assumptions.
The first was an interaction with my youngest son. We had had quite a candid discussion around his upcoming birthday, and I thought he was upset and saddened by it, as we may need to delay his actual party with his friends. When I fetched him from school, I checked in and asked how he was feeling, because I was aware of the situation and I was feeling bad about it. He shared that he was actually ok around the birthday challenge, and was actually more upset about a conversation around his need for an eye test.
If I hadn’t asked, if I hadn’t listened, I so easily would have manufactured my own version of where my son was at, and I would have been completely off the mark!
The second interaction was with my mom. I was reading her a beautiful message that I had received today which communicated all the small ways in which we all impact and touch one another’s hearts…
When I read the line about the favourite mug, my mom interjected saying she always wonders when I’ll get her that special mug, with a loving message for her, when there have already been so many opportunities to and I never have.
In my world, I would not be particularly moved receiving a mug that said something like, ‘world’s greatest daughter’.
I had no idea that this mix of ‘gifts’ and ‘affirming words’ was a powerful love language for my mom!
More relevant was my mom’s comment that it wouldn’t now mean that much because she had to tell me. The irony is, that in telling me, she actually gifts me with the knowledge of the best way for me to ensure she feels loved! That it is actually a wonderful kindness and expression of generosity to share with others how it is that we each most experience feeling loved. In giving people this information, they are then empowered to give to us in the ways we most value and respond to. Sharing this information is a great gift, a great kindness! Keeping it private leads the way to unrealistic expectations.
Topic for next gathering? ‘Check!’
I was inspired to share with my mom this evening a story that I heard at a training event I attended this past weekend. I was getting so passionate, that at one point my mom asked me to keep my voice down.
In the midst of the excitement, the questioning of my mom to get her engaging in the story, I knew that THIS was my content for my next mindfulness gathering!
Where a smiling ‘hello’ can lead.
My mom and I went out for a special birthday dinner. As we were wrapping up our evening I headed to the toilets, pushed the door to enter, and greeted the lady at the basin with a warm, ‘Hello!’
She responded, with a familiarity and affection that would have left strangers thinking we were great friends. We shared a brief encounter, how much we had both enjoyed the evening, especially owing to the quietness of the restaurant, which created a more relaxed ambience for us patrons. During our conversation, she complimented me on my hair colour and cut, my bangs, which I in turn shared were quite a new addition.
This gift of an encounter, so inline too with the verse I shared earlier, traced back to a simple, ‘Hello’.
Thank you Day 33! Continued on Day 34.