Why a little bit of selfishness is good (and why kindness has everything to do with it)
I was sitting and drinking tea with a new friend the other day. We talked about many things and we could have gone on for hours, but what really stuck with me, was our conversation on kindness.
He told me “I would just wish that everyone was a little kinder. They wouldn’t have to change a lot of things about their behavior, I just want them to be a little more kind in their day to day lives.”
It really got me thinking. Kindness is such a powerful tool in our lives. Kindness has the power to change a persons day, week, month or even life. Kindness is the number one force that could make this world a better place. But it has to start somewhere.
Being kind to others is incredibly difficult when you are hurting inside. Treating the cashier at the store to a smile and some light conversation, or even a ‘thank you’, can be so very hard when all of you is hurting and aching, when you feel like you are just a shell and that you have lost purpose and meaning.
When we are hurting, we have a tough time caring about anything else but the hurt that are eating at us.
I don’t know about you, but I know it rings true for me anyway.
We grow numb and walk past the smiles and we only see our own pain. In our misery, we come self-centered.
So where do we start?
What can we do to help us see light and happiness and in return become kinder and more loving people?
We can treat ourselves to kindness first and foremost. It seems so simple, but honestly, it is one of the hardest things you ever have to do. I constantly have to remind myself to do so as well. Showing ourselves love and kindness is where everything begins. Self-loathing, hate and blame breaks us down from within, it takes away our confidence and self-esteem. It tells us hurtful lies and we repeat them to ourselves as if they are truths.
“You are unworthy!”
“You are not good enough!”
“You are ugly!”
How can we be kind and caring towards others, when these are the lies we tell ourselves everyday? Eventually, they become our truth and so the circle continues.
In September I made of list to things that I want to be doing to start loving myself more. (read it here: MY STEPS TO SELF-LOVE) I definitely haven’t been doing all the things I set myself out to do, but honestly, it’s a guideline. It’s something I can constantly return to and work on.
One thing that I did succeed in doing, was doing more diary work. Not only do I make myself a to do list over a manageable goal each morning (2-3 goals as a max), I also write about my feelings and thoughts. It has helped me process so many things, and I think it has helped me through, what was a very difficult Fall and Christmas, with a lot of homesickness and moving-stress.
By having an experience of self-care, I have helped myself avoid falling into the pit of self-pity and self-loathing.
One of the things that are so incredibly important in todays age, is to remind ourselves that we are good just the way we are. By giving ourselves pampering experiences, whether they be having a mani-pedi done, getting a new haircut, or even turning off the phone, while we sit down with a good book and drink a cup of tea, we show ourselves that we are worthy of taking care of and of loving. We tell ourselves, that our minds and bodies are our first priority and by treating ourselves to kindness, we slowly allow ourselves to show kindness to others as well.
You know the feeling, you come out from the hair salon and your hair is all freshly styled. You KNOW you look stunning, because you have seen it for yourself, and suddenly you smile more. People around you notice it as well. They see your self-confidence and they smile too. It’s a chain effect happening, and through your act of self-care, you have affected the world around you in a small, yet rather powerful way.
When I practice self-care, I become a better person, a better wife, a better business woman. I become happy and the love that I show myself, makes me shine. It makes me want to make other people happy. It gives me space of mind to treat others to kindness, to do good and to help where help is needed.
What is the biggest act of kindness you have done or received?