“Kindness has a beautiful way of reaching down into a weary heart and making it shine like the sun”
Whenever I think about this quote, I always seem to imagine it regarding the amount of kindness I subject to other individuals. It is my lifelong work to be a kind individual to all of those around me. How do I do this? I begin by giving things to those in need, listening to the best of my abilities and excluding judgment from my everyday thoughts. However, that is not always so easily managed in my day-to-day life, and I believe it is because of this reason alone.
I am not always kind to myself.
In fact, sometimes, I am downright cruel to myself. I don’t see the beauty, love and magic that is given to me by the grace of God. Somedays, I am pitiful. I am shallow, arrogant and I truly believe the world revolves around me. I create episodic dramas that give me a sense of meaning beyond the meaninglessness I may be feeling in that time – because if it isn’t about me, then what’s the point?
However, that is exactly the point. It isn’t about me.
It isn’t about me.
Nothing is true about me and I am insignificant, but that isn’t a scary or depressing revelation. Ironically, as you’re probably reading this from my social media platform, I was thinking about social media today and the irrelevance it actually plays in my life. As I was driving to work, listening to Spa & Spa on Spotify – one of my favorite stations to help distract from the heaping amount of traffic I experience – it dawned on me.
I could delete all of my social media channels, and I would carry on living a completely ordinary and probably sufficient life.
No – I couldn’t do that.
How else would I get my daily dose of validation and assurance from other individuals? If I didn’t get over 1,000 likes of me holding my dog with the title, “He is the cutest puppy in the world.”
Because the more I perceive people in agreement with my belief that I do, in fact, have ‘the cutest puppy in the world,’ the more I truly start to believe that I am the owner of the cutest puppy in the world.
I, Paige Swanson, literally have the cutest puppy in the world. And that must mean I am worth something to someone.
However, my self-worth shouldn’t be defined by the expectations and judgments of others. Even worse, it appears that I become subconsciously addicted to this external need for validation.
Alright, if I can be the special dog owner of ‘the cutest puppy in the world,’ what magically conjured sense of entitlement can I proclaim today?
Cheese – I am the master of cheese. Just look at me with my 100+ Facebook likes.
Self-worth should be found internally
Self-worth should be found internally by a real natural love for who I am. My sense of belonging should begin and end with my utter appreciation for me. That brings me back to kindness.
If I don’t appropriate my sense of self from who I am deep down within. I will never be kind because I will never learn what it truly means to be kind to myself.
I am and will be a phony- masquerading in sheep’s cloth when in reality, I am a wolf desperately and carnivorously seeking the approval from other individuals to quench my self-indulging hunger one more day. Practicing self-compassion for your current position in life, whether content or trying to improve, is where self-kindness begins.
Accepting your current value socially and economically is, for me, the first steps to widening my view and emotional tolerance for others.
Which leaves me with this last quote:
Happiness is the result of my decision to be happy. There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. In other words, happiness is a feeling I tap into, not an outcome of events. I can be happy without changing anything in my life except my relationship to my own thinking. I decide to be happy and commit myself to making happiness my state of mind, rather than relying on a set of circumstances to do it for me. Richard Carlson
The totality of happiness belongs in the deep awareness and understanding that we should be kind, not just to others (this is a given) but to ourselves. Because when we stop seeking approval and validation from an outside source that smells of rotten desperation. We can stop thinking about ourselves just for one day and begin thinking about the humbled needs of others.
Now if I could just get off social media….