What prevents anyone from being kind all year round?
Stress? Selfishness? A bad childhood? Practicing Satanist?
Save for the last one, practicing being kind all year round will help alleviate stress, reduce selfishness and perhaps assist in healing past wounds.
Why should I be kind when no one else seems to be?
That question is the answer. If not you, then who? Kindness lightens our load and uplifts those around us. Remember, we receive what we give.
Am I kind to myself?
This is a tough one. I personally find it easier to be kind to others. I struggle with being kind to myself. Put it this way; if I spoke to my friends the way that I talk to myself in my head sometimes then I would not have friends for long. I can be the biggest asshole in the world to myself. I call myself stupid and say things like “ahh, you fucking idiot!!! What did you do that for?”. I have no idea where or why I picked this self-talk tendency up because no one ever talked to me this way as a child.
So this is my challenge: Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself when you’re not.
Since I already make kindness a priority with others, it would be too simple to boast how great I am at this, so I will be putting my focus on the things I say to myself this year. I figure that it is best to be your own friend since you have to live with yourself all of your life.
I truly feel that every human walking on Earth right now is walking parallel to every one else. A common phrase we have here is “your path is not my path” but this is usually stated when one is attempting to proselytize another into some ideology.
What I mean is simple. Over the past few days I have had an overwhelming response to my posts about forgiveness, letting go and giving. This reminds me that we are all in this together and our struggles are parallel. Trust, forgiveness of ourselves or others, love, fears, control, openness, pain, struggle, success, self-image and so on and so forth…
Every one of us has our own path with a combination of the above human conditional elements unique to our central nervous system programming. The point I’m making here is that it is really healthy to stop our spinning wheels, look around and remind ourselves “hey, so does every one else”. This is empathy and for the most part empathy is hard-wired into our humanness. From this flows compassion.
I do not have to agree or condone or be tolerant of any unacceptable behavior but I can look on it with compassion knowing its potential source. I now feel that compassion isn’t passive. I don’t look at those unacceptable behaviors and say “aw, that’s ok. They had a rough childhood”. Fuck that. I know that people are better than that. Compassion already knows their struggles and speaks up because compassion knows also that people are more than behavioral patterns. Sometimes compassion tells us to stop whining and grow up. Yes, growing up means becoming responsible for our own pain and experiences. It means reliquishing blame. It means loving while the world is trying to kill your spirit.
The standard that I hold myself and those around me to is founded upon grace. I know that our natural state of being is love. Any thing less than this is due an altered self-image that we’ve adopted along the way… for better or worse.
The good news is that we can change that self-image at any point along the way. That is our unparalleled ability so to speak:)
Forgiving to me, is about completely letting go of wrongs into the future. It is something that happens in the moment. We tend to think in terms of past behaviors when we speak of forgiving. In other words, I forgive you for this or that. I don’t feel that this is what forgiveness is about. Forgiveness is a state of being; a perpetual letting go in the moment. It is a way.
The most important one to forgive is ourselves. Until that moment occurs, we cannot move forward. This is the hardest task to do. I still struggle with it. It is easy for me to let someone walk all over me and then forgive them because I’m yet to forgive myself about something. In this case, I may feel deserving of their crappy behavior. When I truly forgive myself and let go I can then stand up to put an end to this nonsense. Forgiveness is freedom and it allows us to do the next great thing….
Giving. From a state of clarity, we can truly give of ourselves. More of us becomes available to others in a genuine way. My dream is for human beings to let go of hoarding and working to get more for themselves and instead, invest our time giving to one another. Our work could be focused around making sure that everyone is cared for. In the end, I believe that we’d find ourselves cared for more than we could imagine. I realize that this will be a challenging transistion but I do believe it necessary and possible.
We have the grace to do so.
Love inspires me to become a better human being while accepting myself as I am now. This is where I am drawing my inspiration from these days.
The roots of the word inspiration come from latin meaning ‘breathing in’. Whenever I tell myself to relax, the first thing I do is take a deep breath in. Then, I let it go. A very good habit is to breathe deeply everyday while thinking of what you are grateful for.
Fear is a motivator. I wonder how many billion dollar businesses were built from someones fear of being poor or attempt to conquer the teacher who said they’d never amount to anything?
Both love and fear have their place in our psyche. Ask yourself what is driving you. Is it fear or love? It can’t be both in one decision. In some instances it will be fear and others… love.
Again, it is the REAL work to make love our driving force. Sometimes we mess it up, but accepting our mistakes and shortcomings is also what the real work is about.
The bridge between transgression and freedom is wrought with confession, love and forgiveness. It is that simple but not always easy to cross. We are experimential beings that will learn from whatever side we choose to be on and no other human can judge us. Sure they’ll try but who cares because judgement is not an act they’d commit if they were free.
Some people say that they wouldn’t go back and change anything because it made them who they are today. I would. I would go back and change the choices I made that hurt other people. Those didn’t make me who I am today. Those leave me filled with remorse and they reduce the other. I wouldn’t change it in order to rid myself of remorse. I would change it to rid the other of the hurt. I realize that some times we have to make decisions for our own health, safety or sanity that others will be affected by but I am not talking about that. I now believe that most emotional hurt comes from either our own fear and attachment to specific circumstances or selfishness. Either way, fear is present.
I have felt hurt and I have caused hurt. Every single time this has happened it was because I or the other were acting in a selfish manner. We have all done this and this is why forgiveness is so important. Fucking hard. Sometimes almost impossible but nevertheless important. Forgiveness is freedom. Blame will consume us.
But what do I know? Perhaps all of it happens for a reason. All I know is this: I desire to love as much as possible because my eyes have been opened to something real. My struggle is that my past selfishness and fear continually bite at my heals. I have to be so diligent to pull these weeds. Otherwise all of my words are empty.
Emotions are like waves. Watch them ebb and flow with the tide. At times, I forget that I am the calm center and whirl about in my fears and insecurities. I have the potential for harm when I forget who I am. This harm is not intentional. It is a consequence of allowing fear to overtake my mind. Even though harm is at times a part of harmony, I choose harmony over harm every time.
The more I live, the more I learn and grow. Wisdom is like a fine wine that gets better with age. Sometimes it can be expensive.
Life on the surface of the Sun can be daunting. It’s chaotic and restless. Realizing that, I didn’t want to live like that anymore so I began to swim and got no where. I would thrash about and the lake of fire would consume me. I asked my self where all of this seeming chaos was coming from and a calm instantly came over me as I began to sink. I heard a voice say “you were creating this”.
At first, I was sad because the chaos had become my friend and I was letting go. Next, I was angry at my self for wasting so much precious time thrashing about and mad at God for allowing the possibility.
At last I began to let go and forgive. Here, I was re-united with the Center. I sometimes reflect on my previous life on the surface but it is only for nostalgic purposes. I’m glad to be home.
I have come to appreciate the Catholic guilt process. I still think that it is all a large pile of bullshit but I do appreciate that others find value in it. I appreciate the Catholic form of guilt because it has a forgiveness and atonement remedy. Sin… confess… ask forgiveness… have some repressed dude in a costume touch your head with water and Bob’s your uncle; you are good to go sin again.
It isn’t like this with what I call the New Age Guilt” or the ‘NAG’. I fell into this trap for years. I would walk about with a subtle nagging guilty feeling that I wasn’t doing enough to make the world a better place.
The danger with movies like the secret and the myriad of new age self-help books is that they tend to be ironically ego-centric in their approach to spirituality. Spiritual Materialism is the term. The reason that you don’t drive a Mercedes-Benz, live in a huge home or have a shit-load of cash is because you had two negative thoughts last week. You just don’t believe enough. It’s YOUR fault. All of that is just another big pile of crap but more so, it is a multi-million dollar guru market. Basically, if you have a “7 steps to spiritual freedom” outline and aren’t afraid of public speaking then you are well on your way to owning that Mercedes-Benz.
What I have found is that the only cure for atoning that ‘I’m a shitty person” feeling is radical forgiveness. Practice forgiveness even when you have nothing to forgive. If someone cuts you off or makes you mad, then forgive them. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and correct it if you can. Forgive the world for its chaos because the truth is that no one really knows what’s going on here on Earth so we may as well enjoy our experience. The big ‘secret’ is that there is no fucking secret.
Eventually, I started to accept myself and relax.
Now, I have way more time to write my “7 magic steps to transforming your shitty life” books.