Have a hard time being kind to yourself all the time? Recognize the kindness of others! When we recognize and acknowledge kindness in others that we would like to embody more ourselves, we begin to activate that quality – this works for any quality for that matter – within us!
I recently had a conversation with Nancy, the leader of a 10-week seminar I’m currently taking, and she identified me being hard on myself at times – as in there’s little to no room for inevitable mistakes kind of hard – and asked me to cut myself a break.
While I have come a long way in the self-compassion department, clearly there is still more for me to open to. I am present to how suffocating self-criticism – or any criticism for that matter – is. There’s no life or place for expression in berating or punishing ourselves. Yes, we may get quick, temporary results, but those aren’t sustaining. They come from fear!
How can we give ourselves permission to make mistakes from time to time and still uphold standards of excellence? I’m curious. Is it possible to do and be both? When we choose love for ourselves and others, we really are giving life. Generating results from love sometimes take more time to cultivate than those coming from a knee-jerk reaction in fear, and perhaps fear is sometimes the best option for a jump start. Over the long run, though, creating from love is the peaceful, safe space we need to be healthy and thrive.
On my recently 24-hour journey to the other side of the world, I observed kindness all around. From the friendly Marine who wanted to share all he knew about my destination and the neighboring areas to the steward who brought me extra blankets, pillows, free wine, and many check-ins to make sure I was comfortable and happy because I switched seats with another passenger who wanted to be with a friend, this trip has been graced with so much kindness so far.
…All culminating in our welcome here in Saipan. After 24 hours, I was groggily looking for the rental car stand upon exiting the terminal when we were greeted by this:
How perfect to be on the islands to observe, be with, and sink into the flow of kindness. Certainly, we are now on “island time” – what seems to be a common thread between people and places with open hearts. But it’s comfortable – and I’m sinking in.
From one kind heart to another…
Håfa Adai! (hello in Chamorro)