“You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery.Be a warrior for love.” – Cheryl Strayed
Being emotionally brave means being authentic… it means stepping outside our comfort zone and revealing feelings or things about ourselves that other people might judge or reject. It’s the willingness to be courageous and truthful about how we really feel even if it means hurting someone or worse yet, getting hurt ourselves.
But doing all of these things expands us. It forces us to step outside our comfort zone, to put aside for just a moment our mood that day, our own problems and issues and STRETCH. It pushes us to do things we don’t necessarily want to do in order to take the high road…. which trust me is always the better route to take and one you won’t regret!
When we can find ways to bring kindness, compassion and generosity into our every day lives, not only do we stretch and grow…
But so do others because of us.
I really believe that random acts of kindness have a domino effect on the world. People are moved by another human being’s kindness towards them. When someone does something loving and kind for us… when they acknowledge us for who we are, for something we’ve done, for our contributions at work or at home or in our friendships and most intimate relationships, it makes us want to do MORE OF IT. It makes us want to spread it around because we feel so damn good about ourselves.
When someone asks me for a favor I don’t necessarily have the time to do, or asks for something I may not have to give, my first thought is typically,
“UGH.. I can’t.”
My next thought is often a kaleidoscope of images like a brilliantly colored slide show of all the times in my own life somebody did me a favor when I asked. Or went out of their way to help me when I needed it most. Or gave me a “free pass” when I had a bad day and reacted negatively and behaved in ways totally out of character for me (Cue the Jersey BIATCH…)
So I say, yes to a lot more... I say yes to others with enthusiasm and zest and the knowledge that my “yes” is going to spread light to another person and another and in turn, spread more light and kindness into the world.
I do as many favors as I can for people when given the opportunity. I show up even when I’m tired. Even when I just don’t want to because I know people count on me and that my presence means something to them if they’ve invited me.
I lend money even when I feel I don’t have enough myself.
I let the petty shit go. I don’t hold grudges or expect people in my life to never hurt me or occasionally screw up. Because I hurt people and occasionally screw up myself. None of us is perfect.
Kindness, compassion, forgiveness and generosity… these are things that multiply.
What we give to one person inspires them to do the same for someone else. And then someone else. And the dominoes start to fall….
We underestimate the power a smile, a sincere compliment, a helping hand, the time we devote to listen to another person’s struggles and the smallest acts of caring have on other people. It changes lives. It changes how people go about their day and treat others. Can you imagine how different our world would be if we pushed ourselves to stretch a bit more and do this every day?
It’s easy to isolate, turn away and be less giving when we’re tired and stressed and feeling in a place of lack.
It’s much harder to reach deep inside ourselves to find that small place that knows doing the exact opposite of what we want will be the very thing that makes not just the other person feel better but us as well.
Because that whole karmic flow of life is always in motion. What we put out into the world always comes back. Freely. Generously. Abundantly. And always at the exact moment in our lives that we need it most and least expect it.
So I challenge you to be kind today when you want to react and tell somebody off.
I challenge you to forgive someone who has hurt you even if you know that person won’t appreciate that you’re willing to give them a “free pass” for whatever act they committed against you.
It will come back to you, I promise. It will grow you. It will awaken you and open your eyes to what’s possible in the world with one small act. It will change our world in ways that will multiply into an epidemic if we keep the momentum going.
You may not see it in this very moment but people remember the moments you were kind and forgiving and generous with them much later in life. They’ll remember that you went out of your way to help them or hold space for them or simply be there. They’ll recall a conversation the two of you had where you showed them compassion when they were lashing out at you.
They’ll remember the time you listened when nobody else would.
Scott Morrison said it so brilliantly… what we all need to do if we truly want to be happy:
“Pay attention and be unconditionally kind, on this breath alone. Forget about the future. Just this breath. No matter what the circumstances, just be kind. Friend, lover, family member, someone who seems to hate you, someone you’ve never met on the street, your own soft animal body. Just be kind, in whatever way is appropriate. Everything else will work itself out, and you will begin to sense your own pure heart everywhere. How amazing. Very simple. Just be kind. Only on this breath. “
*SHARE THIS WITH AT LEAST 5 PEOPLE SO THAT THE KINDNESS TRAIN SPREADS TODAY AND EVERY DAY…