Kindness

With opportunities to express kindness so abound, it makes sense, to me, to ask how come there is so much unkindness and negativity in the world. Here’s what I’m seeing and understanding more for myself: when we feel like being kind and when we do not feel like being kind are not connected to our experiences (other people’s behavior, situations, circumstances, even our opinions if someone deserves kindness, etc.). The feeling of kindness ebbs and flows, like all feelings do. It’s not caused by anything external.

As a parent, I used to think that my children’s behavior caused me to feel a certain way, that their misbehavior = me being upset and showing that to them. Basically, I thought that if they misbehaved then that caused me to be unkind. One morning, almost a year ago, my son would not get up on time for school. In fact, he didn’t wake up until it was time for us to leave. I had been trying to wake him up for more than 40 minutes, while also trying to help my other 3 kids get ready for school too. I yelled and fussed at him badly. There was no kindness in that moment.

Tearfully we made it out the door and I walked them to school late (again). On my walk back home I got an insight, and I realized that my son could have acted the same way and went to school experiencing his mother’s love instead of experiencing his mother’s wrath. In that moment I saw very clearly that there was absolutely no causal relationship between my son’s actions and my feelings. None at all. How we experience everything, including kindness, is inside-out.

Love & blessings,