Change Your Life With This Simple ActBy Dr. Margaret Paul
June 10, 2013
Do you understand the power of kindness to change your life?
"Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again." Og Mandino, 1923-1996, Author
Being kind is a simple act, so why isn't it more common? Why is being caring, kind and loving to everyone such a challenge for most people? Some of the reason may have to do with some false beliefs about kindness:
If I'm kind to everyone, I will be seen as weak and I will be taken advantage of.
If I'm kind to someone before I know whether they are going to be kind to me, I will end up feeling rejected and hurt.
If I'm kind to someone, they might think I'm strange or that I want something from them.
- What's the point of being kind to everyone with no thought of any reward?
All of these beliefs bypass the underlying reason why kindness toward everyone is so important.
Why Be Kind to Everyone
Do you feel happier and more peaceful inside when you are kind to others, or when you are mean toward others or discounting of them?
The main benefit of being kind to others is that it is actually kind to yourself to be kind to others. When we are being kind to others, our heart is open and filled with loving energy. This feels good!
When you are being harsh, shut down, or discounting toward others, you might think you are protecting yourself from getting hurt, but acting in these unloving ways is so much more hurtful to yourself than another's rejection of you. When you deny your true self – your kind, loving, open and caring self – you are actually rejecting yourself, which always feels bad inside.
Feeling safe and feeling loved are not the same thing. We feel loved inside when we are being kind and loving to ourselves and others. We might think we feel safe when we are harsh, judgmental, controlling, shut down or angry, but this kind of safety – the safety that comes from unloving, controlling behavior – actually doesn't make us feel safe. Not only do we not feel safe when we are unloving, we also feel unlovable and inwardly rejected.
There is a level at which we are all one. Just like all the cells in our body make up our whole body, so each soul is a part of the whole. We are each an individualized spark of the Divine, and each of us is vitally important to the whole that is God.
If you were hurtful to one cell in your body, that would affect your whole body. You cannot hurt even a tiny part of your finger without it affecting how you feel. The same is true of hurting others. We cannot harm another without harming ourselves – without hurting our soul that is also, on the energy level, connected to everyone else's soul.
We cannot value and cherish ourselves when we treat others with anything less than kindness and caring. Likewise, we may have a hard time being kind and caring with others if we are treating ourselves badly. If you find that you are not able to be kind to others, look to see how you are treating yourself. Are you harsh and judgmental toward yourself? Are you projecting this harshness onto others?
You will find it much easier to be kind to others when you are being kind to yourself, and you will find it much easier to be kind to yourself when you are kind to others, with no agenda attached.
Try it! It truly can change your life!
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Today, focus on your physical health. Are you conscious of what you eat? Are you getting enough exercise and sleep? Are you noticing the thoughts that cause stress? Today, practice becoming conscious of your physical wellbeing.
By Dr. Margaret Paul