Editor’s Note: Making a living through the avenue of social media means that we get a bird’s eye view to global conversations. We’re seeing in real time what subjects are being discussed, where we can be a part of the conversation, and (arguably most importantly) the ways in which we are speaking to one another. While there is quite a bit of growth across many fronts, I’ve also been noticing an air of hostility and anger growing, which I don’t believe fuels collective strength.
When Natalie suggested writing this piece related to her own experience on the subject, I whole-heartedly agreed. I hope that we all find ways to spread a little more love and kindness through our words, now and forever into the future.
The world is constantly changing. As such, I have gone through many transitions these past few months. One of which is living at home. I haven’t lived with my two sisters under one roof in a long time – a picture of us together from several years back is below. Being together as a family is a blessing, but it comes with a lot of ups and downs.
The global pandemic has brought us together, but with it has come fear, uncertainty, and negative energy. In a world like this, it is easy to take out some of that pain and frustration on the people around me. Especially when I am trapped indoors with fewer things to do.
Lately, I have been getting into arguments with my sisters. It can be about anything, tasks around the house, interruptions during phone calls, borrowed clothes…you name it. Things that didn’t used to bother us before seem to bother us now.
As the middle child, I have always served as the peacemaker. But lately, my fuse has become shorter. The words that I use to talk to my sisters are not always full of love. Instead, I have replaced love with anger. I am taking responsibility for the consequences of my actions. It would be too easy to say that it is the pandemic speaking for me, but it truly isn’t.
Rather, I think it is a lack of control over the emotions that are riding high across the world. The fear, anxiety, and anger that is being spread through the news and social media is overwhelming. I have been letting those emotions hide my true intentions and feelings.
And when that happens, I struggle with active listening and healthy communication. Arguments that could be easily solved with compromise and compassion become raging fires that require more time and energy to be put out.
I want to use my words to promote peace, love, and empowerment, especially towards my sisters. They are two of the most intelligent, ambitious, and caring women I know.
On a personal level, I have been working towards active listening, using words for love and empowerment, and setting intentional time for quiet reflection. Together, these tools have changed the way I feel towards myself and others. I want to create a positive change in my life and the lives of those around me. The key to everything is that it starts with me.
My current mantra to guide me through this time is “peace and love.” Those two words have shaped my relationships with others and I want to invite those sentiments into my life. Further, I have been using that mantra to guide meditation and journaling.
My family is my rock and I am beyond thankful to be navigating these tricky times with them. However, it would be unrealistic of me to say that everything is peaceful all of the time. The mantra, tools, and goals I listed above are things that I am constantly working towards. Healthy communication and active listening are skill sets that need to be practiced over and over again.
Remember, we’re all in this together.