These are two rules that were repeatedly drilled into me when I was growing up. Especially that second one – and it is that second one that I am valiantly trying to incorporate into my daily life (even if it doesn’t always work). I’m sure they are rules or principles that many of you recall as well. Do we still carry these into our daily lives as adults? Can you imagine what the world would be like if we did? Can you envision how pleasant and peaceful and considerate it could be? Nice, huh? Even someone with a tiny black heart such as myself can appreciate such a feeling of calm.
Why don’t we continue following these rules of kindness? Is it because as we age we become so bitter that we feel any hint of humanity towards another person can be seen as something vile or with alternative notions? Is it because “So-and-so is a twatwaffle so why should I treat them with any amount of respect or decency?” therein immediately breaking that Golden of all Rules “do unto others…” Why?
I propose to start a kindness movement. You don’t have to make any grand gestures or really go out of your way to participate. What this entails is a conscientious step on your part to not be rude or hateful or spiteful. This doesn’t even have to be a constant thing. It can be one little thing once a day. It can be as little a thing as not having a kneejerk reaction to something said. Just once don’t compare how something of yours is bigger or better or faster or more expensive or greater than another’s something. This can be something said in person, an overheard conversation, on television, on social media and yes, even Twitter to name just a few places. If that once a day becomes habit up the anty to being kind twice a day. Yes, I said it. Up your game! Make this a habit and you won’t even realize you’re doing it. It will just be a natural addition to the attributes that make up the entirety of You.
Are there some spiteful or angry words that you feel just need to come out? Then type that shit up. Read it. Correct your spelling and grammar. Add some other words in there and really get those feelings out. Then do this: delete it. Don’t say it. Don’t send that email. Don’t post that hateful rhetoric. Just delete it and keep it as your own little secret. By not responding you are the better person. By not sticking yourself into situations where you don’t belong, you are the better person.
Except in the case where a social injustice is happening. This is when you can and should speak up BUT do it in a way that your words are heard. Many people may hear but they don’t listen. Listening requires one to be engaged rather than being set at reactionary behavior. Counter reactionary behavior by inhibiting it in yourself. Use statements such as “I feel like…” rather than “you do this…” Yes, it sounds like perhaps I am spouting some new age-y psycho-babble but it works. I know this from experience.
It also is great when you know when to let go.
Letting go can be difficult but it can also be enlightening and absolutely freeing.
Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Let go of hatred. Breathe.
If you like, call it “mindfulness”. Mindfulness as defined by dictionary.com:
1. the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.
a. technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them:
The practice of mindfulness can reduce stress and physical pain.
b. the mental state maintained by the use of this technique.
I know this is one of those new movements that seem to go hand-in-hand with yoga, meditation, and vegetarianism. Well, guess what? meditation is part of it. Yoga is a way to meditate. And vegetarianism is a choice of how you want to eat. I will continue to be an omnivore and you do you. Judgement free zone here! I like real food. And bacon. Bacon is delicious and it caused me to de-rail – back on the tracks with this runaway train!
This whole golden rule, if you can’t say something nice, kindness glitter, and mindfulness is all part of a bigger picture. I bigger and more beautiful picture showing the best of humanity. Some people are focussed on securing their future. Others can’t get over events that happened in their past. There is one thing that secures all of those things to one cohesive unit and that is how you are now, in the present. You can’t move forward if you’re always looking back. You can’t grow forward in a positive direction if you’re not planting those seeds of positivity now.
In the image below – which are you? The mind full of clutter and noise? Or the one who is mindful?
How can you move from one to the other to get to that mindful state? I’ll tell you that it starts with kindness. Don’t believe me? Kindness is as infectious as glitter and if you know anything about glitter it’s that shit gets EVERYWHERE! I dislike glitter but as a kindness concept, I am game. Let’s make our kindness be like glitter. Make the whole world sparkle – or at least your little part of it.
Words have meaning.
Not just in the dictionary sense but in the auditory, visionary, spiritual, and even subconscious senses to name a few.
They can be magical or mundane or moving.
They can be helpful or harmful or hypocritical.
They can bring you untold riches.
And they can bankrupt you.
Words can kiss or caress.
Words can also bite.
How do you use your words?
And choose wisely.
We here, in the Northern hemisphere, are currently clawing our way out of the darkness. As the length of our days grows longer, it seems the darkness is ever encroaching, ever-present and always there. Watching. Waiting.
This darkness is not only the relative shortness of the winter days but it is a great metaphor for the darkness we feel resides within our Selves. So great is this metaphor that many religious or spiritual “teachers” will reference this aspect of you. Alternatively, they will completely ignore it and only focus on the love, light, and goodness in us all. And there is goodness in you – even if you don’t believe me. On the other hand, you may believe you are the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. You’re not wrong on that thought either. You are the best “You” there is, ever was, and ever will be. No one can take that from you. Except for you.
The darkness represents those aspects of us that we shun or hide away into the shadowy corners of our minds. These things that are part and parcel of our Selves that we would prefer no one ever see. We may prefer that we never acknowledge that area while others revel in catering to that darkness. I feel many of us sit in the former camp – the one tucking away that darkness. The darkness that sits there weighing on us. It doesn’t sit there quietly, either, does it? It doesn’t wish to be ignored or neglected. It wants to be recognized. It wants freedom. It wants to LIVE. The long darkness of this time of the year seems to envelop it in a loving embrace. It is coaxed out of the corner. It rises to greet you in the early morning darkness or in the middle of the long, cold night.
So what are you going to do about it?
That darkness is part of you whether you acknowledge it or not. Do you wonder why, when you really contemplate or meditate or journal or whatever you do to get inside your own head and its thoughts – why you don’t feel complete or whole? It is not because you lost someone or something. It is not because of any outside influences or thoughts or people or actions or things. It is because you are not recognizing the whole of “You”. That darkness is part of you and until you recognize it; until you develop a relationship with it; until you realize the lessons it has for you then you will never be whole or complete or fully recognize that which is the brilliance of “You”.
I am not advocating that you go out and commit mass murder or any other contemptuous acts of terrible tragedy. Your darkness is not evil (and if you’re having purely evil thoughts then I suggest you seek professional psychiatric help). The darkness within you isn’t outward focusing. It focuses inward and only towards you (and if you’re contemplating self-harm please seek professional psychiatric help). It is that little voice that says you’re not good enough, smart enough, attractive enough, talented enough, strong enough, or driven enough to accomplish your dreams and desires. You are.
So what are you going you do about it?