What is a world without kindness? These days it seems like everywhere I turn the conversation is shifted toward how we as individuals can be more kind to one another. Whether it’s deep in conversation with friends on how we can take action to make a difference in the world, or watching a group of 6 year old children provide affirmations to one another highlighting their positive characteristics. Kindness is an intrinsic component of living well.
The lessons often come at an early age. Our parents, teachers, mentors, encouraging us to treat others the way we want to be treated. What I’ve noticed as of late however, is that most of these teachings are structured around the way that we project ourselves toward other people, but I think it can be argued that kindness starts from within. So while it’s extremely important to be kind to others, it is equally fundamental that we learn to be kind to ourselves.
Kindness simply defined is to be of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person.
Sounds pretty straight forward, right? I mean I think it’s safe to say most of us would like to think of ourselves as good people. So, if we go back to the notion of treating others the way we want to be treated why then, is it so difficult many times to treat ourselves in kind. Showing up personally with forgiveness, empathy, compassion, and most importantly unconditional love.
It is often said that we are our worst critics and I can’t help but wonder why. Constantly judging, comparing, weighing in, and criticizing our own actions as opposed to accepting, believing, and loving who we are. No one is perfect in this world. If there’s one thing that I know, it’s that. We are all unique and our differences are what makes us so beautiful. I personally think it is about time we celebrate that notion as only we can do for ourselves.
Therefore, this week’s challenge is all about self-care. A value too often overlooked and ignored and it’s high time that we learned how to be good to ourselves, once and for all. Gentle, kind, and assuring. The best tip I can share around this is to think of yourself as a friend and learn to treat yourself accordingly.
When something goes wrong this week don’t beat yourself up over it. Learn from it. Give yourself the same space and understanding that you would give anyone else in a similar position. The key here is to start looking at yourself differently. As a person, who yes is flawed just like everyone else, but who is additionally resilient, worthy, and cherished.
Get out your journal and start composing a list of affirming characteristics you find within yourself. Perhaps you create a portable duplicate that you can carry in your pocket or bring with you to work to keep in your desk. Pulling it out at various points throughout the day as a reminder of the magic and power you encompass.
I’m going to be honest, affirming yourself can be difficult. If you’re not in the habit of doing it already you might find the list takes you much longer to create than anticipated. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Part of the process is learning to give yourself permission to receive the good over the bad.
Once you become OK with giving and receiving within yourself, spreading the wealth to others becomes a natural course of action to follow. Soon enough you’ll find yourself authentically living in kind and the world will be better for it.
So good luck and remember “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” -Lao Tzu