I was invited to a community yesterday for people who were interested in sharing acts of kindness and it reminded me of one of the most important things I try to remember to do every single day and that is to be kind, loving and generous. I make this conscious decision every day and do it with everyone I come across. Some days are harder than others, especially when I am in the grips of serious depression or when I am just having a bad day but I do it anyway because it has become ingrained in the way I move through the world.
It doesn’t even have to be something big. It can be as simple as a smile. Sometimes that all someone needs to make their day a little better. It’s a basic way of acknowledging someone’s existence in the world and that can be very important. Of course, it can be a larger act. Donating money or things you no longer need to charity. Giving a couple of dollars to the homeless person on the corner. All kinds of acts of kindness are possible.
The hardest way of practicing kindness, however, is when it comes to applying it to our self. For me that’s a daily struggle. Me and my self have this love hate relationship going on. Sometimes she really gets on my nerves in fact. I have no tolerance for my moods (unless they are working for me at the time). I really can’t stand it when I can’t seem to get something done (I always say I was born without the patience gene). But these reasons are why I should be kinder, more loving and generous with myself.
I’ve been told it all stems from low self-esteem or sometimes outright self-hatred. I guess I can understand that. How can I be kinder and more loving toward myself when I don’t think I am worthy of it. And this low self-esteem leads to other things (like compulsive behaviors, addictions, shame, being fearful, etc. etc.) which then feeds this self-hatred and continues the cycle. So the kindest act I can perform, is to learn to change my own beliefs about myself.
In an effort to do that, I will keep doing the things I have been doing since entering treatment in March. I will continue going to therapy and taking my medications, obviously, but I will also try to incorporate more things that give me a positive sense of worth. I’m going back to work (I just found out yesterday afternoon that my job is still there and, although it’s not a great place to work, it is a source of income and accomplishment for me). I will continue with this blog because it’s a way to share my story and, hopefully, it helps others with bipolarity to realize they are not alone. I will continue to work on my plans for the Change Your World Foundation I hope to start farther on down the road (more on that later). And, most importantly, I will try to keep my focus on the positive things I have going for me. That is the kindest and most loving thing I can do.
I strongly encourage everyone else to try to remember to be kind, loving and generous as well. Not just to yourself (although that is obviously the most important thing to do) but to as many others as you can as well. This world has become a detached and unloving one because we seem to have developed this false sense of separateness. The truth is that we are all connected to one another, like it or not. We only have this one little planet to share (we have no back up plan for that one that I am aware of). If we all went around being kind to one another and acting in a loving and generous manner, there would be no limit to what we could accomplish. Try to do what I do every day. Smile and acknowledge the people you pass by instead of brushing by them without even looking. Say, “Good morning (afternoon, evening, etc.)”. Watch what happens as you keep doing it day after day. It’s an amazing thing.