I believe that given the chance most people will choose to be kind…selflessly kind. I think it’s instinctual really. Even the grumble bunnies out there, when put to the test will often choose an act of kindness when the opportunity strikes. It makes us feel good. I guess to some, that’s not self-less…but I’m going to call it that here. People like to do kind things for others. Period.
I also believe that self-kindness is something most of us struggle with.
Self-kindness is often confused with selfishness and wrapped up with guilt or shame. It can be seen as weakness or self-absorption. We actually feel bad inside for choosing to be kind to ourselves.
I’ve been mulling this question over and over in my mind for the last several days and to be completely honest the best answer I can come up with is because we are afraid to look bad. We don’t want to be the bad guy/girl. We don’t want to disappoint someone. We don’t want to look selfish, self-absorbed or weak. So when we choose self-kindness over selfless kindness we feel like crap. We feel shame, guilt, and all the other icky, yucky things we feel because we are inherently good people.
Self-kindness can mean saying no. GASP!!! It can mean putting our needs ahead of someone else’s. It can mean setting boundaries or honoring our limits. It can mean that we have to stand firm in our skin and say,
This is what’s best for me and I matter.
I believe that the only way we are ever going to get comfortable with truly being kind to ourselves is through practice. We need to pounce on opportunities to be kind to ourselves, no matter how small. With practice, we will learn that while it’s awesome to show kindness to others, we are no less valuable, our needs no less important.
We have to show up for ourselves through random acts of self-kindness. We have to let go of the destructive and toxic thoughts that self-kindness is less important than selfless kindness. We have to be our own champion and simply be to ourselves what we love being for others.
Moving forward, I challenge myself…and YOU…. to practice self-kindness every single day. It may seem awkward, or uncomfortable at first, but if we allow it to be the new norm, we will become accustomed to it and the world around us will adjust.
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!