Push right back.

He said, “In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. I realized, through it all, that in the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” – Albert Camus

After almost half a century on this earth, I’m starting to believe there is a distinct possibility that negative things, people and experiences are thrown into our paths to teach us what we will and will not tolerate for ourselves. And the older I get, the less tolerance I have for ugliness, unkindness and  lack of respect.  But as strange as it is to say, I think it’s necessary to be grateful for those experiences — like gifts, albeit unpleasant ones. Because it’s in that space that I’ve learned to set healthier boundaries, silently push back, and envelop myself with self-love and respect as an antidote. I’ve heard it said that we accept the love we think we deserve. It’s taken me a long time to realize it, but we deserve to receive the kindness and love that we extend to others. That’s the bar. The threshold. The standard. We get to decide. And we should accept nothing less.

I’m grateful to know and practice this.

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