Yes, too nice is a trauma response, but genuine kindness, conscious consideration of the impact you have on others, is a beautiful gift.
I have become accustomed to the ability to be dehumanized as if I can’t see or read comments to the fact that people speak about others as if they are nonexistent. Some people simply don’t think, and other people simply don’t care. Yet for others you will be the mirror reflection to their hurt. Adult bullies are real! No pain or hurt of the past is an excuse for the hurt that is spewed.
Words are simply letters on a page or noise spoken out loud. Yet the impact on others can’t be seen when those words are written or spoken about someone you don’t have to see.
I am choosing to use a recent opportunity of witnessing this emotional, immature, unhealthy behaviour I have struggled to understand my whole life. Why be cruel when you can be kind? A recent experience of where my own moment of being criticized and judged had inspired me to remind myself that if I took a moment to allow myself to accept someone’s unkind words as my truth, my thoughts would become unkind to myself.
The years dedicated to healing from a lifetime of being the mirror reflection to the projection of internal insecurities and suppressed hurts unto me would not be lost. Turning that mirror back around and remembering to look beyond the shadows and masks. To look into the light, I choose to see the power of kindness that circles around. To respond to the emotional maturity of conversation that reveals kindness is not lost. I chose to rise and walk with celebrating the conscious caring and those who do what should be so natural to us, to be considerate and show dignity.
Today, I say thank you to that one who chooses to open the door and greet another with a genuine smile. To the one who doesn’t just ask how you are and walk away before the first word roles over the lips. They stop to genuinely listen. To the one who can critique with a heartfelt ability to inspire and appreciate the work that has been accomplished. To those kind of kind people who don’t feel a need to belittle another to make themselves appear smarter, wiser, or simply better, I say thank you.
To the kindness of the person who is the volunteer with the joy in their heart and compassion flowing everywhere. And when they get home and when no one is looking they are still smiling about their day and not complaining that they have to do what no one else will. Thank you for what you do for the world; it does not go unseen.
To the one who defends the stranger without also belittling the bully, thank you. Your emotional ability to support and emotional intelligence are not just seen; they’re a teaching tool for others. Thank you for mastering that within yourself. The true powerful leaders are the ones who are considerate of the influence their presence, words, and actions have on individuals. As adults we are the leaders to the generations following. As parents we are the leaders, and to be aware of the power of our influence is an important aspect of self to consider. Kindness is consideration for yourself and others. It’s an awareness to the power we have to be an influence in the moment.
Some people have a lifetime of being conditioned to accept the behaviour; that’s just who they are; that’s not what they really mean. Kindness doesn’t protect the unhealthy behaviour; it finds a way to speak to the spirit in hopes that someday light shall find its way in, but in the meantime, I will not accept that which is not okay. Benevolence, grace, and dignity are words that I hope someday many may start to seek, not just the meaning but how to embody more of within their lives.
Kindness for self doesn’t have intention to inflict hurt upon another. For myself, it allowed me the space within myself to start to see that when the one unkind person appeared in my day as did double the amount of kind people appear. I choose to start to see and speak of all the kindness I had experienced that day and my heart simply would smile. I acknowledge and speak of, give thanks, and show gratitude to the light and those respectful of myself and others and not allowing myself to react to the unkindness of another by becoming unkind to myself. I was not forgetting the unkind words or behaviour of another; I simply stopped rewarding the behaviour by giving my power or joy away.
I stopped rewarding bad behaviour with giving it not just the attention it craved but giving it my power—my moments of happiness. Allowing that kind of behaviour to steal and rob me of my internal joy, I started to understand the power of self-care and spiritual hygiene.
Give the attention to the light and not to the shadow; this also means it becomes an inside job, but within you it’s important to sit and ask yourself why am I unkind to myself or others. Why do I not consider the impact my behaviour and words have upon another? Our thoughts matter; how we speak to ourselves matter. How we see and view our world matters. Today I could be offended, but I am smiling because I see that there is a world filled with people who are truly kind.
Ask yourself, why do I feel a need to vocalize the unkind thoughts in my head? Sometimes the kindest thing we can do is say nothing at all. I have learned through my own journey that in silence you will learn the honesty of your ability and truth of kindness. The power of silence and kindness can be our greatest teacher.