Cultivating Kindness


It is easiest to be positive and kind to myself and others when I am feeling at my best and life is running smoothly, but being positive and kind to myself and others actually is most needed when the opposite is occurring.  Any guesses what kind of day today was for me?!  Yes; I woke up definitely not feeling my best emotionally, due to some ongoing challenges, and I was not in the mood for much of anything, especially anything remotely resembling positivity and kindness.

As I felt my bad mood preparing to sabotage a day that had only just begun minutes earlier, I unleashed a silent string of unkind words at the person challenging me the most.  Myself.  Normally, this negative internal discourse gives me permission to unleash the looming anxiety, depression, and self-doubt that always are on standby, ready to swoop in when given a chance, and I throw in the towel on any hopes of having a good day.  Today, I decided to do something out of the norm, though.  I fought back.

To do so, I had to commit to being kind when I felt unkind.  It was anything but easy, but sometimes, doing the right thing is the hardest thing to do.  For each of the positive and kind actions I took to help myself and others, I had to make the choice to do so, and I can admit that some of these were not easy to do.  That said, no matter how tough it was sometimes to be kind to myself and others, I did it, and I do not regret it.  Instead of hiding under my covers, I threw them back and set out to do some good by:

  • Staying committed to my workout routine.
  • Treating myself to hot green tea and a delicious yogurt parfait at my favorite local place, Please & Thank You.  Bonus: Lily, one of my favorite baristas, was there to greet me with a smile and a warm hug.
  • Smiling.
  • Spending time with the guests at the day shelter for homeless men and tending to their needs, whether it be sharing an encouraging word with them, listening to one of their stories, providing someone with a pair of socks or a razor, or joking and laughing with them.
  • Remaining gracious when dealing with someone who made a disparaging remark about how I deal with, or do not deal with, as the case may be, my anxiety and stress at work.
  • Making an effort to not allow my bad mood to negatively impact my communication with my special friend by offering him words of support and encouragement.
  • Allowing myself to break down and cry briefly when I was safely back at home.
  • Meditating to help clear out the negativity that still desperately clung to my mind and heart.

Some days, being kind and positive comes easily, and some days, it takes A LOT of conscious effort to do so.  I had to work harder than usual to make a positive difference in my life and the lives of others today, but I would like to think that the hard work paid off.

Just one thing each day . . .

Categories: Just One Thing Each Day

Tags: , , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Good for you Kristi. I don’t know that I could handle it so well.

  2. Sometimes I think the hardest person to be kind to is myself.

  3. I can relate to everything you are saying my dear…I have those dark days as well. We will never handle it perfectly, but we can try to make it through and flourish.

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