Here's an interesting word to contemplate – thoughtfulness. What's that mean, exactly? Maybe it means we can tear apart a subject with the best of them by looking at the topic deeply or asking a lot of questions. There have been times that, in my discussions with people, we've had mind blowing revelations. (You've had those experiences too, right?)
Or maybe it means taking other people feelings or reactions into account before doing something. Every action creates an impact, whether positive or negative. Being thoughtful is a way to (for the most part) create some type of positive impact by thoughts, words and deeds. Buddhists call this mindfulness.
Since I am a deep thinker, I started thinking about all the times I have NOT been mindful. Times I have let someone down, said the wrong thing and can't take it back ever or forgotten (or chosen not to) to follow through on a promise. The past cannot be changed – only actions and reactions can be changed in the future.
Is it that simple, though? Can we create thoughtfulness / mindfulness that easy? Yes, the mind is extremely powerful. We can talk ourselves in or out of anything with just some thoughts or self-talk. The whole situation can be created in the mind before ever arriving somewhere. There is anticipation and planning – the experience in elaborately created before leaving the house. In reality, it's only one of the million of possibilities ahead – why be locked into one, especially if it's a negative experience?
Part of being mindful or thoughtful is to be open-minded. Believe that things are never written in stone and that there is opportunity to change it. We can't change how other people act. There will be those out there who may hurt with words, deeds or actions. It's in our hands how we choose to handle it, react or create thoughts around it. We can speculate all we want and in the process make ourselves crazy.
One of the ways we can be more mindful is to step out of ourselves and look at how we would react if we were watching as an outside observer. Would this person say we were kind, caring and considerate by our actions? Or would this person say we were mean, uncaring and selfish? By doing this, does this change our actions? If not, what are the reasons why?
That never means we aren't going to say things or do things to hurt people. We will – sometimes in error, sometimes to protect and speak up for ourselves. We are responsible for how we deliver the message, not necessarily how someone receives it.
If we come from a place of mindfulness, at least we are being true to ourselves while expressing what we need to express. Taking the TIME to be mindful – that's the trick. It means we have to think about what we say or do, it means we have to be quiet and listen, instead of reacting. We have to REALLY listen to what someone is saying or watch what they are doing.
It creates an environment where we have to be present – all the time. Instead of just floating through life, walking through the routine, we have to be conscious of ourselves while balancing that with being conscious of others.
Be honest with yourself – how often do you do your usual routine? For example, how often does someone push all those right buttons where you're fuming and either you blast them or you carry around that negativity, spewing it to friends who agree with you and swirl that negativity around, not for once thinking about how you Can heal the situation or look at it differently?
Ask yourself – how does walking through life without mindfulness serve you? What changes or positive impacts could you make by just pausing for a moment before reacting?
It doesn't have to take a crisis to look our own thoughtfulness differently. It takes determination to think about our impact to others. The question now is – are you willing to be present in every moment in your life. You'll see you can handle situations with more love and compassion then you ever have before – just by settling into your mind with a sense of purpose, not only your reaction.