"Practice random acts of kindness” is the mantra of current times. Buy a coffee or pay a road toll for the person behind you in the line and “pay forward the kindness” you received from someone else sort of thing.
Has it come to you yet? Like all fads or trends, they can quickly fade away and become meaningless.
Being kind is something that never goes out of date but the whole idea of compassion and gentleness seems obsolete when it comes to applying it to ourselves.
Sometimes our inner dialogue is so nagging and critical it becomes a type of mental torture that we easily become convinced of.
Some of the inner dialogue we hear are: “You’re not good enough," “You’re not good at anything”, "Why couldn’t I handle that situation better?" "Why do I let them get to me?" "I'm not smart enough." "I don’t deserve good things"…and the list goes on. I’m sure you can add your own.
We are always tougher on ourselves, but if we had seen someone else treated like this we would be calling the police or social service to intervene.
We need to STOP! The random acts of kindness need to START with OURSELVES FIRST!
Let’s be clear on what our self- kindness really means to us.
It’s not being narcissistic and self centered. It is not going on an unlimited shopping spree or eating, drinking and other out of control behavior because “I deserve it.” That type of behavior is destructive and is just a short-term fix for bigger emotional needs
Being kind is giving yourself a break to take the time to understand what YOU need.
It is taking a moment to ask yourself “how do I feel about this?” and giving consideration to the things that are causing exhaustion, anxiety or emotional pain.
Being kind to yourself is saying “no” even if it means you putting your needs above someone else's expectations. It’s being gentle as you try new things – a diet, an exercise program, a new hobby or managing your health issues and giving yourself time to adjust, ease into it and eventually succeed at it. It’s being patient with yourself.
It’s remembering you are not just the culmination of your disappointments, regrets, sadness and let downs but also the total of your successes, brilliance and overall triumphs”.
Getting to know yourself means you can gently make the right decisions to benefit and enhance the quality of your life and the people you love around you as well.
It means making choices to support and nurture yourself to triumph over resentment, exhaustion and bad choices.
Checking in with where you are feeling pain in the body and deciding not to put up with or live with it also helps.
Do some people make you tense, uneasy, on edge or stressed out just at hearing their name?
Think about those who make you feel diminished and invisible or who don’t show interest in you or listen when you speak, then limit time with them or move away entirely from their company.
Take a look at the people who claim that they are here for you and profess that they will do anything for you until they actually have to step up and do something to help you.
Do you really need and want these people in your life?
For your own sake, forgive those who have hurt you. Don’t be carrying around the weight of the pain that they caused you.
Let it go, put it down and grant yourself freedom.
Being kind means not being taken for granted. It means listening to your needs and fulfilling them in a nourishing healthy way.
It’s having a community of people who “get” you! It is feeling good about yourself and your relationships.
It is not feeling used and not comparing yourself unfavorably to others.
I urge you to stop and make a concerted effort to become more aware of your needs.
As you become more aware, nurture yourself with kindness first. Find joy and gratitude in the day to day. Forgive yourself your own perceived weaknesses and disappointments. Make friends with YOU and learn to like what you see.
In doing so you not only make your life better, but you also improve the world around you too. You will make way for a future of surprises, happiness, blessings and everyday miracles.
Are you ready to start being kind to yourself?
Why not schedule a 30-minute Sunny Life Coach Trial Coaching Session to help get you started?
Kathleen Tucka is an accomplished award winning Life, Career, Business Coach and Personal Advocate.