Saturday, October 6, 2012

day 6: but, what if?

I knew it was bound to happen.  I suppose it's better to just get it done and out of the way.  Now's as good a time as ever, and sooner's always better than later.  Well, usually anyway.

My mini me is throwin' another fit, y'all.  And this time, she's angry at me.  It seems that she's pretty sure all of this sweetness stuff is going to backfire and leave us with nothing more than the dirt everyone else has left over from wiping their feet on our pretty little faces.

Sure, being sweet can get a girl's heart hurt, no one likes knowing that their kindness has been taken for granted, or worse, gone unacknowledged.  And yet, these are not valid reasons for choosing the opposite of sweet.  The choice to be sweet to the people we encounter in our lives, be them strangers, friends, or family, is a gift and gifts are not given because people earn or deserve them, they are given out of love.

Of course, we don't need excuses to be sweet to the people we love and who are sweet to us, although sometimes we need reminders {we'll cover this in a future post}, what mini me is afraid of and what keeps most us on guard in public are the people we don't really know or who we are getting to know and the pressing urge to protect ourselves.  Being sweet doesn't mean I am a doormat.  It means I choose to take and interest in other people and have respect for their journey as fellow humans ~ regardless of whether or not I agree with some, few or none of their decisions.

So, because mini me really likes clearly defined rules {they make her feel safe and secure, like she at least has a compass in the middle of the wilderness}, I thought I'd share the guidelines we have come to agree upon for the rest of this journey:
  • People may not immediately appreciate sweetness from others, especially strangers, and that is okay.  If we are interacting with them anyway {passing through the same isle in Target, entering the highway at the same time, or even just walking down the sidewalk while we're gathering the mail} we lose nothing by being sweet and we have the benefit of going about our activities with a smile.
  • We do not need to seek out people who do not wish to acknowledge or appreciate {although we're surely not being sweet for appreciation} our sweetness; in fact, sometimes giving people space without bitterness is the sweetest gesture we can make.
  • We do not have stop enjoying our own activities in order to fill our time with what makes others happy; doing things that make us happy helps us to stay sweet.
  • We are allowed to decline invitations as long as we do it sweetly.  This doesn't mean we have to give an excuse or tiptoe around the subject, simply acknowledging the gesture is plenty.
  • We must always be genuine in our sweetness, it is okay to follow our mama's advice, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."  People can see through insincere actions and being fake just isn't sweet.
I figure being sweet, you know, the genuine kind, is sort of like buying a raffle ticket from that little neighbor kid's  school or church fundraiser: the underfunded cause gets a helping hand, you've strengthened {or begun building} a relationship, and because you now have a raffle ticket, you've got a chance to win a prize, which is a bonus, because we all know that whatever is being raffled off is not often the reason we bought the ticket in the first place.  If it's done right and for the right reasons, there's no real downfall to buying a ticket from the poor kid, even when it's not a winning one.

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