A few weeks ago I crashed on the sofa at 1:41 pm, determined to only lay there for 17 minutes.
Two hours later I got up. As I pushed back the sense of guilt, I realized something: I have some arbitrary measuring cup for kindness, and I tell myself exactly how much I deserve.
Most of the time, I pour out even less.
The days leading up to that moment had been difficult.
My parents’ move.
Wrapping up a business launch.
The antics of an irrepressible two-year-old.
My grandmother’s 89th birthday.
The baby brother’s graduation from boot camp.
One week until kindergarten.
Crappy work situations for my guy.
Losing a favorite piano student to college.
Pain in the world and pain nearby.
Life is hard. And as a high-achieving perfectionist, it’s even harder to know how to make room for kindness toward self. How to tell when it’s time to stop doing and just be.
There’s this saying–“spread kindness like confetti.” I love that picture. Became if I’m throwing confetti up in the air, some of it will inadvertently fall on me.
And it doesn’t mean I’m being a hedonist. There is no waste. That kindness is God’s gift–an example of his love and grace.
We don’t work to earn kindness. It is showered upon us. Like rain. Like confetti. And we just stand there and receive it. Not because we’re worthy, or we worked extra hard, or we accomplished a goal. Just because we are.
I’m not sure I’ll ever find that balance between diligence and acceptance. Between commitment and enjoyment. Like I said in the post on change, we need to apply the idea of santosha to how we view ourselves: acknowledging where we need to grow, and also acknowledging how incredible we already are. Because if we can genuinely be kind to ourselves, I think we’ll find it much easier to be kind to others.
How will you be kind to yourself today?