I used to ask myself, “How do you love someone whom cannot even love himself?” Obviously with lots and lots of patience and perseverance, but I knew that wasn’t everything. I would wrack my brain and heart trying to answer this question in order to understand; to attempt to solve this disconnection I had between myself and a loved one. Over and over and over again I would rail at the futility of my situation.
Then I remembered and realized I’m asking the wrong questions. Didn’t I used to be like that? How did I change? What made the difference that finally healed my heart enough to forgive and love myself once again? To begin with, how did I even find myself in such a poor state of self-worth? Where did I find the key to unlock my heart? And so I began contemplations on my own journey.
What was the turning point for me? What was the key that opened my chest of hoarded hurts, misgivings, transgressions, trauma’s, and overall negative hostility?
LOVE. It was love, pure and unadulterated. A no strings attached, all encompassing, accepting, flaws-and-all love. The problem was I couldn’t see it.
It took the kind and forgiving act of a stranger for me to finally see that love surrounded me. Actually, it took more than one act (I’m a bit stubborn), but after a few times and in such a short amount of time and consecutive occurrences by different strangers, I started to open myself up and take a wider view of my world around me. Why do we put more worth in a random act of kindness than we do in those who show us everyday?
The surprise factor.
To be surprised by something is a type of wake up call. A loud intrusion into our otherwise over-burdened psyche of inner-turmoil. It tells us to quickly look here and see this thing we wouldn’t normally see and forces a reaction from us. A very visceral and immediate reaction. Practically instinctual really. And because we are forced to see and feel this thing it as well forces us to ponder upon it.
We stop thinking about ourselves for a minute amount of time, and it’s enough to pull us from our constant, self-centered states of mind. It’s enough to change our habits of small-world perspectives and stretch it out to include a whole universe of perspectives we never once thought to utilize.
I just created a new one for myself, right now, within these very words. To be kind, always, to everyone I may meet in my travels. You never know how your simple and small act of kindness towards a complete stranger can change their life, and the lives of those close to them, forever and for the better.
I know all of you have probably heard the latest media hype phrase “Practice Kindness.” It’s not just some corporate advertising company trying to get more money in bumper stickers or t-shirt sales (I mean it could be and most probably is but…). It also comes from somewhere deep within all of us and I’m happy it’s finally getting some positive PR.
Kindness is not a weakness. As a matter of fact it’s quite the opposite. How much harder, after all, is it for you to forgive than to hate? Practice kindness and you may just change the world. Or if that’s too much responsibility, you may just change mine. We are all connected.
You are loved.