We are all wounded, one way or another. We arrive (often sluggishly, dragging our feet, avoiding the inevitable) into adulthood – wounded. I wish it were not so. But it is. There is no perfect parent and no matter how idyllic our childhood, there are wounds we bring into adulthood.
It took me a few years of children before I realized that it’s actually not my job to protect them from the wounds of life.
It’s my job to love them, support them, guide them.
Certainly, there are many wounds they will avoid if I love them. And if I am not loving, I may inflict avoidable wounds (and, sadly, my friends, I am all too frequently not loving to those I love the most).
But not all.
Some of those wounds will be inflicted by ME.
I can heal wounds in relationships, though. I can be kind. Kindness binds us. Kindness makes us grow up. Every time we are kind we grow a little. We practice. We gain skill and confidence at being kind. That’s nice, don’t you think? Practice little efforts of being kind and it’s easier to be kind about the big things. It’s not long practicing when we find it isn’t even hard anymore.
And then we get derailed again. And have to start all over.
But here’s the best part of being kind. I heal ME. I fix ME. I put salve on my own wounds when I am kind to another.
I can fix me. Truly, I am the only one who can fix me.
Kindness to another is self-care. We can fix ourselves.
“No one heals himself by wounding another.” Saint Ambrose