Monday, January 30, 2012

A Month of Kindness

It's been a month since I started my kindness project.  So what have I learned?

I've learned that 140 characters isn't very many.  I've learned that people define kindness differently.  I've learned that reading and posting a great kindness quotation in the morning doesn't mean I'm going to be kind all day.  I've learned that I can't be truly kind and cranky at the same time (although a kind moment can peek through a cranky cloud).  I've learned that having a single focus for an entire day is tough.

I did not grow up in a house filled with kindness.  I was not taught to be kind.  I learned lots of good things in my home, but I wouldn't say kindness was one of them.  I grew up in a home with a lot of sarcasm, a lot of yelling, a lot of fighting.  Not always, of course, but those things stuck with me.

Kindness was something I found outside my home. 

My grandmother was kind.  There was something different about her that drew me in.  An unconditional love.  Did she talk to me about kindness?  I don't remember.  But she treated me kindly.

And I'd say that is how I learned kindness -- by others being kind to me.  Kind people popped up in my life often.  They were heroes to me.   I wanted to be like them.  To this day, truly kind people will always be a draw for me.  It's like a magic power.

I've tried to be kind.  Sometimes I've succeeded; sometimes, not so much.  But I've really been struggling with it lately.  Especially in my home.

That's why I chose this word.  I want to be more kind.  I want to feel it in my heart.  I want to feel it so much that I can't contain it, that it is bursting from my seams.  I want to radiate kindness.

I've been working on it for a month and I'm not there yet.  Not even close.  I go like gang busters for a while and then fall flat.  Out comes the sarcastic remark or snotty comment.  I can apologize (although I often don't), but that won't take back what I said.

Change is hard.

It's possible that some of my difficulty is because I'm struggling with my emotional/mental/physical health.  It's always more difficult to be kind when I don't feel well.

Can I be kind when I am miserable?  Is it possible? 

I think so.  I haven't proven it yet.  The experiment goes on.

I'm going to broaden my word choice a bit.  I'm going to include words which I feel connect to or are an aspect of kindness.  Words like charity, respect, compassion.  One word just wasn't enough to capture the change I'm looking for.


Bonnie said...

Thank you for your kindness to me. I think you're less looking at a change than uncovering your nature. Your kindness to me was very sincere. I hope the pain, of all sorts, fades soon.

Birdie said...

I think to be truly kind we need to be loving and kind to ourselves. I think when we are dealing with emotional struggles the first thing we need to do is be nice to ourselves. So, relax. If you think you need to be kind start with doing something for yourself that makes you feel good about yourself. :-)

The Dolls Are Alright said...

Just holding the intention of wanting to be kinder is a wonderful way to start. From what I'm reading, it seems you've already begun and are kinder. Truly, you wouldn't even think of wanting to be kinder unless, like Bonnie said, that is your true nature.

Naked Mommy said...

The fact that you think about kindness and strive to be kind, shows you are already kinder than most people! It is definitely hard to be kind when you feel miserable (I know.. I've had PPD for about a year now... maybe longer, I think it went undiagnosed with my first child), but I think you're doing great. By the way, I really appreciated your comment on my PPD post. You are wonderful! Don't forget it!!

Dawn aka BusyMom said...

I try to do random acts of kindness when the opportunity arises... and then there are the planned acts of kindness that take place like helping the youth group throw a party for under privileged kids each Christmas and picking up a friends kids from school when they need it or taking the time from my busy schedule to take a sick friend to chemo... it's those little things that I hope my kids see and copy when they are grown.

Just Another Person said...

I think that you are truly a kind person in heart. Every comments you wrote on my blog was very nice and you have kept me going. Your support through your comment is always very thoughtful and is nothing but kindness.

But its nice that you are making extra effort to be do kind. We need more kind people like you in this world.

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

It's wonderful that you're making a conscious effort to be kind. It is harder than it sounds, isn't it?

Lisa said...

Are you trying to cut out sarcasm? Cause I can do kindness but I can't do without sarcasm. Sorry I'm a little late on joining. Id like to try some kindness though. I think I used to be, but got a little selfish along the way.