November 10, 2018

Kindness Becomes You

A few days ago I was in Edinburgh attending a storytelling workshop on kindness. Since then I’ve reflected upon the experience as well as kindness itself, and in a world often hardened by negativity the workshop was a welcome reminder that kindness is in fact all around us.

Kindness is the bridge between the visible and invisible. It comes from the wellspring of love within and has the power to transform and heal. And yet how often when you think of kindness do you consider being as kind to your Self as you are to others? How often do you treat yourself like someone you love?

Stories are kind and generous, as indeed is anything that comes from the imagination and the warmth of the heart. “Stories are not an opinion” said workshop facilitator Alexander Mackenzie, “They simply are.” Stories illustrate what it is to be human and what it is to step upon the path of self discovery, otherwise known as the hero’s or heroine’s journey. And as a storyteller myself, I'm often delighted by the kindness that surrounds us. Unexpected gentleness and acts of compassion often appear when we are in the deepest and darkest of places – both in and out of stories, if there’s a difference? After all everything, you, me, the community, this planet, the Universe – it’s all an unfolding story.

So, regardless of the negative beliefs and self-talk you may have learned upon this life journey, if you truly want to be happy you must first recognise that you are worthy of the very best that life has to offer. This is not a vanity or an arrogance - it is an act of self-love, it is an honouring of who you truly are.  If you want to feel good it’s time to stop putting yourself down. It’s time to stop arguing for your limitations. It’s time to let go of that which no longer serves you so that you can truly begin, unashamedly, to appreciate and love who you really are.

Now is the time to be kind. Now is the time to treat yourself like someone you love …  for kindness becomes you.

May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.
May you never place walls between the light and yourself.
May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you, mind you, and embrace you in belonging.

John O’Donohue