Have you ever read a book that just lit up your brain? And when I say "lit", I mean it made all sorts of light-bulbs go off. I'm currently reading one of those books.
At the beginning of the year, I started reading The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. Each day there's a short passage followed by some action-based prompts. I'm not going to lie, there are a few passages that don't really click with me, but the ones that do...boy do they click. My brain lights up like a Christmas Tree and I can't get my thoughts down in my journal fast enough.
Now, since I'm a sucker for a good a-ha moment, particularly ones that are shareable, I thought it would be fun to share some of the love with you.
This is a snippet from the passage titled "Being Kind-I"...
"The great and fierce mystic William Blake said, there is no greater act than putting another before you. This speaks to a selfless giving that seems to be at the base of meaningful love. Yet having struggled for a lifetime with letting the needs of others define me, I've come to understand that without the healthiest form of self-love - without honoring the essence of life that this thing self carries, the way a pod carries a seed - putting another before you can result in damaging self-sacrifice and endless co-dependence."
I've lived up close and personal to co-dependence. Been there, done that. Have the t-shirt and the tiara. So, this passage reminded me of the many times I used to confuse people-pleasing and peace-keeping with being kind. And I don't think I need to tell you....there's a HUGE difference.
For example, stuffing my feelings to keep the peace all because I didn't want to trouble someone else or run the risk of ticking them off. (I still fall into the old habit of saying, "I'm fine." when I'm really not.) Stuffing wasn't kind; it created all sorts of internal chaos.
Doing/Saying things that didn't fit with me to please someone else. That wasn't kind; that got me lost and there's nothing kind about losing your identity. Not to mention, I was lying and lying isn't kind.
ENTER A-HA MOMENTS, STAGE LEFT
A-ha moment #1: The most unkind thing we can ever do to ourselves and others is to not be ourselves. Genuine, heartfelt kindness comes from being who we are.
A-ha moment #2: True kindness doesn't hurt and it sure as heck doesn't cost us our identity or our well-being. EVER
So, I have to ask, do you find yourself being authentically kind? Or do you find that you're being kind at the cost of yourself, your feelings, and/or your well-being?
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This blog is all about walking the walk, and not just talking my talk.