Somewhere between love and hate is the forgotten realm of kindness. It is an old and noble kingdom that is often ignored and definitely taken for granted. We often pass it by, on our way to wage war with ourselves or each other. Running back and forth between loving and hating.
So be kind to yourself instead.
Sometimes love is a very tall order, and hatred just comes a little too easy, especially since we are constantly encouraged by the choir of voices on social media, spurring us on.
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
We don’t have to dig trenches and embrace either extreme, and fight a battle that will ultimately end with an unavoidable stalemate. A war that proves nothing, and inflicts much pain and destruction along the way.
So be kind to yourself.
To be honest, I experience loneliness very often. It feels very comfortable after so many years.
When I look around I get a sense from those I meet, that they don’t really see me, or even care to. They talk at me, they see through me, as though my life didn’t really matter. I only serve a commercial purpose. I am nothing more than a cog in a progressive wheel. I am simply admired for keeping up my end of the bargain, and not being a financial burden on society.
I have a deep unquenchable desire to live my life with great meaning and I try to act with purpose every day. It’s just that the things I care deeply about and the things that trouble me, don’t interest most people. They seem more interested in making money, building a better home, and entertaining a new fashionable affair.
The things I care about trouble deeply, and cycle back to me over and over again.
I want to know for example why it is that we have to die. I want to know who I am and how to live a meaningful life. I want to know how to raise my children to be hopeful people, despite knowing that a day is coming, when I will have to say goodbye, and they will cry, like I did ten years ago.
I think about my past and all the things that I could have done a little better but I also think of the things I have done well, and feel a sense of joy knowing that I have become who I am.
I try to be kind to myself.
Kind, because I have done nothing wrong by being born. I am in a struggle like everyone else. I make mistakes like everyone else. I desire to know the mysteries of our existence, like everyone else.
I think we do ourselves a great injustice when loathe and hate ourselves, even a little. We have no right to be our own worst critic. We don’t even have the right to be a mild critic. We have no right to any criticism at all.
Our mandate is to love ourselves, but for right now, I will take a bit of kindness.
Kindness when I fall down and gossip. Kindness when I look at the shape of my body in the mirror and laugh at the futility of change. Kindness when I overeat. Make promises I cannot keep. When I get lazy. Angry. Get judgemental. Proud. Arrogant. Jealous. Kindness, when ignore those that love me, and run back into the cold arms of loneliness.
We need love.
We need to fight hatred.
But first, we need a little bit of kindness.