Often we feel that kindness is the same thing as showing weakness. And we definitely don’t want to appear weak in front of someone that we feel is defying us. So we answer with fire to fire and before we can even understand, what happened, something that begun as a small misunderstanding has flamed up to be major incident, where there is no going back. Friendships are broken, words are said, that hurt and cannot ever be taken back. In the worst case we all carry scars for the rest of our lives.
Last week a co-worker hurt my feelings. I struggled to forgive and let it go. I was mistreated and felt righteous in my hurt. I have learned too much, though, to word this hurt. I know too well the power of the words, their ability to hurt and wound beyond measure once we let them slip out from our lips. But in that situation I wasn’t able to find any kindness in my heart either, which saddened me. For I strive in every situation to be kind. I fear this is how the wars begin, when we are unable to find kindness in our hearts.
Then I came across Gabby Bernstein’s blog about Appreciation Game introduced by Abraham-Hicks. Appreciation Game is about trying to find things to appreciate in a situation that is not to our liking. I applied this to my co-worker, who had so wounded me and my feelings. And lo and behold, I was able to change my feelings and find the kindness in my heart after all. How little and insignificant that hurtful situation seemed to be in the face of all the good qualities this person seemed to possess.
I must agree with writer Henry James when he says: “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” There is nothing more important in our lives. With kindness we can change the world for better. If there is just one thing I want to be remembered for, it is for being kind.
We must understand though, that sometimes kindness is walking away, leaving the situation, person or place. By allowing someone to mistreat us is not showing kindness to them nor to ourselves. Sometimes we show kindness by letting someone we love to struggle and find their own solutions to things. As much as we would love to carry the burdens of our loved ones, it is not kindness to rob them from their own experiences and paths.
Kindness it letting others be themselves without trying to change them to our own liking. Kindness is being our own authentic selves without compromises and excuses. There is a huge power in kindness if we just harness it. And there is no excuse for not doing that.
More about Gabby Bernstein’s Appreciation page here: http://gabbybernstein.com/the-appreciation-game/