I needed to respond to someone’s email. Someone who really wanted an answer from me. Actually, more than an answer. They wanted reasons, an explanation.
And there I was, in that place where I often find myself: It’s 11pm, I’m re-reading an email, I’m torn. I want to draw a hot bath, put on a folk-trippy playlist and end the day really grateful. Should I answer the email, thereby giving up a half hour of golden sleep? (I don’t make resolutions but if I did, it would be to stop staying up too late.) Should I try to be comforting whilst explaining myself — again? Should I backtrack to appease this good person (would that be the more loving thing to do?) And by appeasing them (because that’s loving, right?) then I might decrease the risk of being: a) disliked, and b) someone talking sh-t about me.
Or…should I face forward, which is where I prefer to keep my life pointed, and take a Sandalwood bath — the pleasure of which makes me a better person on a regular basis.
I minimized my computer screen and rolled back from my desk. And I thought, “I don’t care what they think of me. F-ck it.” But I knew that wasn’t true.
Because I’m a love nugget, really, and I care a lot about other people’s feelings. Because I have a healthy ego. Because I’m a serious boss lady and kindness is always good business.
I closed my eyes and brought the person to mind. And I said, “Look, it’s not that I don’t care about you. It’s that I already expressed my reasoning — very lovingly. I showed I cared. And now, I have to care more about my own freedom and future than what you think of me.
Not easy. But really, totally necessary. What I know for sure is that my ability to be (relatively) okay with the discomfort of boundaries — of self respect — is why I have the life I want, which is about constant creativity and a circle of true friends to love on.
It’s easier to have boundaries if you’re a heartless a*hole. When you’re an empathetic love bug, it’s a bit harder.
Just the way it is.
So here’s a mantra for the Kindness Crusaders who want to get stuff done in the world:
“It’s not that I don’t care. I do. It’s that I deeply care about my [ fill in the meaningful blank ].”
Some people will take offense to your healthy priorities. Others will take your loving example and love themselves even more.
Take a hot bath and call it another day to be grateful for your good life.
Always with Love,
Danielle LaPorte is the creator of The Desire Map: A Guide To Creating Goals With Soul — the book that turned into a day planner system, a top iTunes app, and an international workshop program. A Desire Map workshop happens every weekend somewhere in the world. Author of The Fire Starter Sessions and the wildly popular #Truthbomb series, Danielle is also the co-creator of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan and co-host of the Beautiful Writer’s Group podcast.
Entrepreneur Magazine calls her “equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass…edgy, contrarian…loving and inspired.” A speaker, poet, former business strategist and Washington-DC think tank exec, she writes weekly at DanielleLaPorte.com, where over four million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice — a site that’s been deemed “the best place online for kick-ass spirituality,” and was named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes. The Huffington Post named her Twitter feed as one of the “12 of Wisest Twitter Accounts Worth Following.” You can find her @daniellelaporte just about everywhere.