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If you kindly take a backseat to everyone else, this post is for you!
Although self-sacrifice has its place in times of crisis, a life lived without regular regard and support for what’s best for us can lead to unfulfilled dreams, misery and escapism through addictive behaviors. Instead of sacrificing ourselves, if we foster more joy within—through kindness, we’ll not only experience that kindness, but also radiate it onto everyone and everything in our world. In today’s article, we’ll look at ways to begin being beacons of kindness.
Are we meanies?
If we rarely feel joyful, that’s a good sign that we may have given ourselves a heaping dose of the meanies. Joy is an essential element to our mental health and willingness to live. I’m not talking about the momentary picque of the fore-during-and-after-play of whatever worldly delicacy in which we choose to partake, but the kind of joy that stays with us indefinitely at some level, just because we exist. If we are not joyful about life, or in some way doing what we know will allow us to become more joyful, we are missing the point. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured. If our lack of kindness to ourselves and others is getting in the way of our joy, it’s gotta go.
The meanest people are also mean to themselves.
As we take a look at the most insufferable people we know, they are undoubtedly unkind to those around them. And, should we be in this person’s wake, we may depart so quickly that we may not take time to notice how deeply unkind they also are to themselves.
Something to consider
Do we believe that we are worthy of receiving kindness? The more we can forgive ourselves for the past, the more worthy we will be to allowing ourselves to receive kindness. Said differently, our life will be filled with kindness when we believe we deserve it. If we’ve done things that we knew were wrong, judged ourselves and now believe that we don’t deserve kindness, here is a link to my previous article about how to learn to forgive ourselves http://www.willyou.guru/forgiving-ourselves/
Kindness dissolves addiction
When we’re super-kind to ourselves and surround ourselves with others who treat us the same, we no longer need to bury ourselves in alcohol, gambling, drugs, affairs, anger, criticism and other self-abuse. Kindness is a very powerful agent of healing and transformation.
Be nice, I mean it!
Kindness needs to go both ways—to everyone else and also to ourselves. Fundamentally, all life is equally important. For example, if we have five children, is one less valuable than another? No. We may like one more than the other, but that doesn’t diminish the value of the other. Likewise, life gave birth to all of us and we are all equally important. That means that we need to be as kind to ourselves as we are to our favorite others. If we believe in God, we need to be as kind to ourselves and others as we would be to God, as God’s life is within all.
Are we kind enough to say no to what we don’t want? To what isn’t best for us?
When we surround ourselves with people, places and things that feel miserable and treat us miserably, we can expect that we, too, will be miserable. A sad life is one without kindness. ANYTHING we can think, say, feel, be and do for ourselves that is deeply, truly kind, will make us better people. Martyrdom behooves no one.
My personal experience
Like everyone, I’ve been mean to myself without even recognizing it. I learned that I can only be as kind to others as I know how to be to myself. It wasn’t until I realized that I was never going to enjoy more free time, a more physically fit body and time to finish writing my book unless I changed. I had to learn to be so kind to myself that I made time for those things. I quit working a little earlier, I worked out more often, and again this year, I am choosing to set aside time to finish writing my book.
My experience coaching others
In coaching people to be empowered, I’ve observed that people have the ability to kick their dead-end habits to the curb as they learn to be truly kind to themselves. As we come to understand that addiction and destructive behaviors stem from a lack of loving-kindness, it’s awesome to watch as clients apply kindness to themselves. Kindness can go a long way in improving their state of mind and life. And when they are more joyful, the people in their presence get the opportunity to experience their joy and also be more joyful themselves.
What does kindness to ourselves look like?
Let’s begin by thinking about the kindest we have ever been to someone else—possibly a pet, family member or lover. Maybe we installed a cat door because we knew that kitty liked the outdoors. Maybe we took mom to dinner at her favorite restaurant because she loved a good meal. Maybe we gave our lover our complete attention and did whatever we could to fulfill his or her needs. Now, how can we treat ourselves more like this—like someone we love, who is worthy of kindness and care? If we’re ready to start being kinder to ourselves today, here are a few questions that can lead to fun things we can think about and do!
Question #1: What did I love to do as a kid that I don’t do much (or any of) now?
Schedule a non-cancellable date with yourself to do this. I guarantee that as soon as you schedule it, you will feel better. If you feel guilty or have a hard time allowing yourself to receive this level of kindness, feel free to learn about how to receive more here http://www.willyou.guru/receiving-lifes-gifts/
Question #2: What do I dream of doing or would love to do?
Regardless of the reason why we haven’t started, or how afraid we might be, all that is in the past. So what if we didn’t start ten years ago when we could be really good by now?! This is today. What one small step can we take towards doing it? If we’ve always wanted to ballroom dance, can we sign up for a group class once a week? Or start watching videos on different dance moves? Could we buy a pair of dance shoes and practice basic steps at home? Could we buy a dress or shirt that we imagine how much fun it’d be to wear while dancing? This could be applied to any dream.
Question #3: How CAN I be kinder to myself?
Instead of thinking of all the reasons we CAN’T be kinder—like “I don’t have time,” “the kids’ needs are more important than mine,” and “I have to work,” say this mantra, “How CAN I be kinder to myself?” If we ask ourselves this question at every turn … when we’re looking at a restaurant menu, standing in line at a checkout, looking online, watching TV, deciding what to wear, eat, think, say to ourselves (and others) and do tonight … we can start making decisions that are kinder and consider our feelings and needs—not just everybody else’s.
What say ye?
How will you be kinder to yourself? Please share your thoughts and feelings so we may grow in strength and willpower together …
Always with love,
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