Touching into your grief can be brutal. Even when the pain never actually leaves you, sometimes purposely turning to face it can be exceptionally hard. So today, let's focus on finding some kindness within all this pain. For all you have been through, for all you have seen, kindness is what’s needed.
Kindness is a weird and slippery thing. Most of us can be kind to other people. That’s easy. From the outside, we can see that others deserve some softness around them, some relief from their own internal battles. But being kind to ourselves?
I can hear you protesting even now: No, see, you don’t understand. I’m not trying hard enough. I failed them. I’ve failed myself. There are so many things I should have done, should be doing, should be better at. If you really knew me the way I know myself, you’d know that kindness is the last thing I deserve.
Kindness is a measure of respect for what one has endured, and self-respect? It’s just not that easy. Learning to treat yourself as though you are someone you love is a life-long process for many people. Let’s get started with it, with this prompt. For all you have lived, for all you have endured, you deserve kindness.
Kindness is gentleness, softness, a lack of blame. Kindness is letting yourself sleep when you are tired, eat when you are hungry, cry when crying is what’s happening. Kindness is telling yourself the truth of your own life, listening intently even and especially when it hurts. While kindness can be giving yourself a stern talking to in order to get you further along a path you most want to explore, kindness is never harsh. Kindness allows for space. For breathing room. For encouragement.
What would it mean to offer kindness to yourself in your grief? What would kindness look like? How do you, or how would you, be kind to your “sad self”? In what ways is kindness missing in the ways you treat yourself?
If you’re stuck (and lots of people get stuck here!), start with kindness is.... and go from there.