Although self-sacrifice has its place in times of crisis, a life lived without regular regard and support for what’s best for us can lead to unfulfilled dreams, misery, and escapism through addictive behaviors. Instead of sacrificing ourselves, if we foster more joy within—through kindness—we’ll not only experience that kindness, but also radiate it onto everyone and everything in our world. Let’s look at ways to begin being beacons of kindness.
If we rarely feel joyful, that’s a good sign that we may have given ourselves a heaping dose of the meanies. Joy is an essential element to our mental health and willingness to live. If we are not joyful about life, or in some way doing what we know will allow us to become more joyful, we are missing the point. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured. If our lack of kindness to ourselves and others is getting in the way of our joy, it’s gotta go.
Do we believe that we are worthy of receiving kindness? The more we can forgive ourselves for the past, the worthier we will be of receiving kindness. Said differently, our life will be filled with kindness when we believe we deserve it. If we’ve done things that we knew were wrong, judged ourselves and now believe that we don’t deserve kindness, here is a link to my previous article about how to learn to forgive ourselves.
When we’re kind to ourselves and surround ourselves with others who treat us the same, we no longer need to bury ourselves in addiction, anger, and other kinds of self-abuse. Kindness is a very powerful agent of healing and transformation. We need to be as kind to ourselves as we are to our favorite others. If we believe in God, we need to be as kind to ourselves and others as we would be to God, as God’s life is within all.
Like everyone, I’ve been mean to myself without even recognizing it. I learned that I can only be as kind to others as I know how to be to myself. It wasn’t until I realized that I was never going to enjoy more free time, a more physically fit body, and time to finish writing my book unless I changed. I had to learn to be so kind to myself that I made time for those things. I quit working a little earlier, I worked out more often, and again this year, I am choosing to set aside time to finish writing my book.
In coaching people to be empowered, I’ve observed that people have the ability to kick their dead-end habits to the curb as they learn to be truly kind to themselves. But what does kindness to ourselves look like? Let’s begin by thinking about the kindest we have ever been to someone else. Now, how can we treat ourselves more like this—like someone we love, who is worthy of kindness and care? If you’re ready to start being kinder to ourselves today, here are a few questions:
Question #1: What did I love to do as a kid that I don’t do much of now?
Schedule a non-cancellable date with yourself to do this. I guarantee that as soon as you schedule it, you will feel better.
Question #2: What do I dream of doing or would love to do?
Regardless of the reason why you haven’t started, or how afraid you might be, this isn’t yesterday. This is today. What one small step can you take towards doing what you love?
Question #3: How can I be kinder to myself?
Instead of thinking of all the reasons we can’t be kinder—“I don’t have time,” “the kids’ needs are more important than mine,” “I have to work,”—we should ask ourselves this question at every turn: how can I be kinder and consider my own feelings and needs—not just everybody else’s?
How will you be kinder to yourself? Please share your thoughts and feelings so we may grow in strength and willpower together …
Always with love, Angelique