Be Kind to Yourself
Love is the underlying fabric of life, and kindness is its reflection in the world, through us. It can be conveyed in attentiveness to another, in words, or in deeds. One of the most powerful acts of kindness is kindness toward ourselves. That is really where kindness begins. If we are not kind to ourselves, how can we be kind to others? Unless we are also kind to ourselves, kindness shown to others is more of a manipulation, an attempt to get others to give us something or to get them to be kind to us. But unless we are kind to ourselves, we won't be able to receive any kindness others offer us. That place of lack inside of us can't be filled from the outside. We have to be kind to ourselves first.
True kindness comes from a desire to soothe and comfort others because we have discovered the power and blessing that kindness is from having received it. Receiving kindness from others heals us and allows us to express it to others. If we haven't received much kindness from others, we need to find a way to give it to ourselves, to be kind to ourselves even though others haven't been. To do that, we have to do two things: We have to forgive those who weren't kind to us, and we have to see that we are worthy of kindness.
Unfortunately, those who didn't receive a lot of kindness as children usually concluded that they deserved it, that they aren't lovable or worthy of kindness. They need to forgive those who were unable to be kind to them (probably because they didn't receive kindness when they were young) and learn to give it to themselves. Those who received abuse learned to abuse themselves inwardly; they learned to believe their negative thoughts about themselves. They need to develop a kind inner voice rather than an unkind one. That can be done, but it takes a willingness to see the truth, to see through the negative self-image to the truth—that you are divinity in a human body, that you are love incarnate.
Every person has the same capacity for love, but it is squelched when someone hasn't been loved. Not being loved blocks the natural flow of love, and giving love to yourself allows love to flow outward again. It is always possible to give yourself love because your true nature (Essence) loves the human expression that you are, no matter what you have done or haven't done, no matter what your shortcomings are from a human perspective. When you tap into the love—the kindness and compassion—that your true self has for the human that you are and for all of humanity, you unleash the power of love in your life to heal yourself and to heal others.
We desperately need this now on planet earth. Can you find it in your heart to be kind to yourself? This is not a selfish act, but the most unselfish act because it allows the love of your true nature to flow outward toward all life. You don't have to like the ego and its ways; just accept the ego as part of the human condition. Be kind and compassionate toward yourself and those who are caught in the suffering that is caused by the ego, and this kindness will release you and others from the ego's prison of limitation and fear. Love yourself and others for the courage to be alive and be human in these difficult and challenging times. Give yourself and others some slack. Forgive, allow, accept, and be kind. Relax and let everything be as it is.
Gina Lake is a spiritual teacher who is devoted to helping others wake up and live in the moment through her books, counseling, and intensives. She has a master's degree in counseling psychology and over twenty years experience supporting people in their spiritual growth. Her books include Loving in the Moment, Radical Happiness, Embracing the Now, Anatomy of Desire, Return to Essence, What About Now? Living in the Now, and Getting Free. Her website offers information about her books and consultations, free e-books, book excerpts, a free monthly newsletter, a blog, and audio and video recordings: http://www.radicalhappiness.com.