KIndness is a quality that most will agree is a good one. As with most values and beliefs that I have held, I find that we were fed a false or limited version of the truth. We like concepts like kindness as it has a warm and fuzzy feel. I like warm and fuzzy yet not at the expense of truth. I am discovering that it is the energy behind the concept that makes all the difference. Much of the time, surface kindness masks resentment. I know that was true for me in the past. I acted in ways to “be kind” yet in doing so, neglected my own needs. Over time, that led to resentment as my ego cried out for acknowledgment. I sacrificed my own comfort levels to take the “higher road” of kindness. We were taught that this was the path of being a “good person”. Give more than receive. Always offer a helping hand. So many platitudes which hold value if seen in a new light whereby I make myself part of the equation. I reject the notion of putting myself last. I have come to the the knowing that my needs are to be met first and foremost. Only when my cup is full, do I have something to offer to others.
It can be a mark of kindness to set a boundary with another. To claim our space. If I hold my space as sacred, I have the right and even the duty to myself, to maintain a boundary as to who I allow to enter in. I might meet someone in a public space and spend time together yet not feel that their energy is one that I would chose in my sacred space. I can set a boundary on how much time I can give in conversation, in interaction with another as my soul has claim on expanses of my time for stillness and contemplation. When I honor the needs of my soul, I can be fully present with others when I choose to engage.
Kindness then can appear as something else to another if they feel that their needs are not being met by me. I have come to know that if I am following the path of my highest good in any situation, then it cannot harm another. I may disappoint another, annoy another but that may be the kindest thing of all. We are taught that it is better to make everyone comfortable even if it comes at our own expense. Kindness is not always comfortable. I have to be willing to speak my truth and receive unpleasant reaction energy. That may be the true kindness that I can show another. It is not easy nor comfortable and it may take deep breathing at times. On the small scale, I am one who will tell you if you have something caught between your teeth or a zipper unzipped……on a larger scale I may point our that one is being manipulative in their use of energy and I do not appreciate it. Not comfortable to speak of yet it is this type of kindness that I am most grateful for when others have dared speak it to me.
We are all teachers for one another. If you come to me and ask for something that does not feel right for me to give (my old self would have given but felt uncomfortable or unhappy) you may react when I say no. Yet that no is a yes to myself and it alerts you to a place in you that may desire to be looked at. And the same is true for myself when another sets a limit on a way that I am interacting. I am seeing so clearly how we trigger one another and act in ways to release any lingering unconscious patterns that we may hold. That is an act of kindness. To speak truth without regard to the reaction that it elicits. I temper it with, this is my truth as I see it, for each one’s truth is their own. Mine changes frequently as I evolve on this path. It is not easy to discern our highest truth at times as our old patterns pull us back into unconscious ways of relating and moving in this world. This is especially true with family members where there we have worn such deep grooves in our brains of old ways of relating. I was cast as the “good daughter” by my family of origin and when I outgrew the role, I outgrew my family as they could not accept me relinquishing the role. My younger sister called me in despair, saying, “Oh no, now they have made me the good daughter! Help!” These relations call us to be fully present and conscious in our reactions, acting authentically as we feel our truth rather than allowing the old role to play us unconsciously.
I am seeing that when someone’s actions trigger a reaction in me, they have gifted me as I am now alerted to an area that wants attention. If I feel judgmental, what part of me is needing love? If I feel angry, what part of me feels violated? I can look to myself for cause as well as resolution. Almost all of it comes down to lack of love. With this expanded viewpoint of anything that causes me to move from peace, I can see the kindness of those souls who are bringing me the opportunity to move more fully into peace. In truth, our enemies (isn’t that word strange? the concept feels so foreign) are our greatest teachers as they help us see where we still have work to do to be free. Inner peace is freedom like no other.
I love discovering these patterns with folks in my life. One dear to me on the soul level has been a wonderful teacher as he feels out all the paths of unconsciousness in me and comes in on those paths to alert me where I am still unconscious. I so appreciate this in him. He illuminates the pathway until I set a boundary and close that pathway. He then seeks another until I am conscious in all aspects. This then truly frees him to be conscious as he no longer has that role to play. So my setting boundaries is an act of kindness to him and his seemingly unconscious behavior, is an act of kindness to me. I feel waves of gratitude these days for all the bearers of what appeared as hardship in my life. I send thank yous out to them for playing their roles in my life. It may have appeared as anything but kind yet all were acts of kindness on a soul level to help me awaken to my truth.
The concept of kindness expands as we do. I am ready to live in a world where kindness is expressed by all, for themselves, first and foremost. This will naturally lead to it being expressed to others. We will all be bathed in the waters of kindness. As we care for ourselves, we care for all others as we are all one. Oh, it is such a win-win universe that we live in! I am so grateful!