The more I move through life, the more I’m convinced that kindness and happiness are interchangeable.
I’m an extremely sensitive person. I know what it’s like to have hurt feelings that make you want to cry and hole up under the covers.
And yet I’m an extremely fiery person.
I know, more, what it’s like to innately transform my hurt into sharp-tongued words and caustic action.
So I practice kindness. And it is a practice.
There are days when my dagger-like tongue wins and I find myself apologizing. More frequently, there are days when I find my heart housing bitter resentment towards another’s deeply unkind behavior and I have to practice extending both my heart and a smile rather than an equally detrimental attitude.
No one wins when we forget to be kind to ourselves first.
I think it’s absolutely true that to love others we need to love ourselves. Because love involves respect, equal-footing and hand-holding, not follow-the-leader or idolization.
So today, as I move into my morning with a few feelings of woundedness and, also, a lack of understanding for why some people do the things that they do, I choose to move towards love—and happiness—by choosing empathy and compassion where my mind fails to grasp another human’s intentions.
I choose kindness. I choose love. I choose happiness.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
~ Dalai Lama
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Editor: Emma Ruffin & Ashleigh Hitchcock