I don’t know how to be compassionate. I don’t know how to be kind.

Well, I do know — kind of. But my compassion and kindness are selective. It’s the election. It’s brought a lot of ugliness out from under the rocks where it’s been hiding. My own included!

Last time I wrote, I was working on “my presence brings peace.” Now I realize that it’s not only my physical presence I need to concern myself with, but it’s also my verbal presence, and my mental presence. My thoughts. My words.

When I consciously switch from my knee-jerk reaction of disgust and actively seek compassion, I do find it. Eventually.

Our automatic responses always bring opportunities for self-awareness and growth. But our automatic responses are slippery and darn near invisible. They’re hard to catch. Here’s a clue, for me anyway — if my response to a person or situation isn’t grounded in kindness, then I need to step back and reconsider. Step back, take a breath, and reach for kindness.

Okey dokey, then. I’ve got my work cut out for me. I’ll let you know.