When you grow up in a life full of trauma, most genuine acts of kindness seem suspicious. They make you question what the other person wants from you and how or when you’ll have to repay them. It’s a never-ending cycle that ultimately makes you hate kind people. In fact, I used to tell myself that if I gave away too much of my kindness, no one would return it. This notion shaped me for years. I surrounded myself with situations where I didn’t have to be vulnerable or undergo any true pain.
After keeping myself stuck for so long, I decided to make a drastic life change to focus on myself as an individual. This changed started a travel journey, a faith journey, a motivational journey, and a journey to feeling safe within myself. My new outlook on life allowed me to see true loving-kindness. Although opening myself up to kindness scared me, it truly was beautiful.
The past year was challenging for me and so many others, but it taught me an important lesson about kindness. Through conversations with strangers and being the recipient of random acts of kindness, I soon realized one of the most important truths about kindness:
In order to accept kindness, you first have to be kind to yourself.
When you aren’t showing yourself kindness, you can’t open the doors for honest, loving and kind people to come into your life. Life is all about the energy you give off into the world, and if you give off bad vibes you won’t get any good vibes back. In order for me to accept this shift in my thought process, I changed my daily habits. I started doing gratitude work, devoting time to myself, and giving back to others as often as I could.
These steps weren’t easy at first, but they taught me how to be kind to myself so that I could make the space to be kind to others. Each of these actions may seem small-scaled, but their shift created the biggest growth in my life thus far. In being kind to myself, I connected with some incredibly kind people who truly want to help improve the lives of everyone around them. These people believe that this world should be full of kindness because everyone deserves a chance to be at peace with themselves and their stages of life.
Life is a magical journey, just try not to forget that we’re all on the same path so be gentle with each other and be kind to yourself.
Stay safe, stay healthy and spread kindness rather than a virus!