mental or emotional stability or composure, esp. under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium.
Origin: aequ, even, plain, equal + anim, mind, spirit, feelings
Synonyms: serenity, self-possession, aplomb.
Antonyms: panic, disquiet, discomposure, agitation.
Self respect. Not suffering fools. Not throwing pearls before swine. Being seen, heard, felt. Speaking up for yourself. Original Voice. Radical self care.
Authenticity. Self-soothing. Practice. Ritual. Honouring your needs so you can honour other’s. Self referencing. Proudly particular.
All great concepts. Essential to wholeness. Critical for self expression, creativity, and dignity. Doorways to consciousness.
YOU KNOW THE TYPE:
They’ve worked so hard to get this far that the world just isn’t good enough. They have their issues in check. They have special food requests. They’re rather sensitive. You have to make special trips for them. When they talk last in meetings, it’s likely to run overtime. They’ve crafted a system of hard-won self-help philosophies that seemingly entitles them to accommodations wherever they go. They’re really annoying.
But wait. Back to me, me, me, moi….
I’ve spent so many hours in psychotherapy, and retreats, and boardrooms clarifying my “needs” vs. “wants” vs. “the hungry ghost” vs. “healthy expectations” that when I “surrender” to someone else’s “way” it can feel like a stick in my spokes of dignity (and I paid a lot for that dignity.) Such is the foible of Western spirituality. Me first, You next.
But at this point, I’m tender and tough enough to know what love is and isn’t. And…
Sometimes, the most enlightened, classy, and loving thing you can do is shut up and put up.
You eat the meat they serve even tho’ you’re a vegetarian.
You take the tacky gift; you find the common ground in your opposing politics; you smile, darling. And here’s the thing: you mean it when you do it.
You suspend being right, or more evolved, or protected, and you intend loving equanimity – because you can.
You accept and flex because it expands you – and that’s only good.
You soften because it feels really amazing for everyone involved – guaranteed.
You say thank you because elegance makes the world a better place.
When you become the conduit for graciousness you get stronger, truer, freer and more fiercely alive.
Which is the whole reason we create boundaries in the first place.