In relationships, if it is conditional, it is not kind. I can think of nothing more confused and distorted than my early ideas about kindness and connection. I literally, for more decades than I am comfortable to admit, confused kind people for people wanting to be in a relationship with me and non-kind people as enemies; out to get me. Painfully childish. But how could I have known differently?
I did not learn to discern kindness as a value practiced by some, and not by others. I understood it as something to be earned and withheld.
Recovery informed me about kindness and service as values and practices, choices to be made, daily. Today, I recognize how other people’s behaviors(kindness, or lack of) are about them. It is legitimately possible to not prefer or be pleased by a person—-WAIT FOR IT— and still not be unkind. I feel extremely proud to be mature enough to now practice and receive kindness, with grace. THIS was the beginning of self esteem and self-worth for me.
I am so grateful to finally know and do better. What a miracle. If you have not yet learned about kindness and service, you too, can reparent yourself with any of the 12 Step Programs. I cannot recommend them enough. There are actual steps to living your best life and people who are willing and eager to support you– free of charge and unconditionally.
I was only able to behave with genuine kindness after being encouraged and taught (for the past 10 years) to practice appropriate self care. I had to learn to be kind to me. Because… when I hate me, I probably also hate you.
To be clear, kindness and friendliness are not the same. Friendliness is how you appear. Kindness is who you are. I often experience friendly types, as enjoying and relying on gossip and flattery for social lubricant. While socially acceptable, I recognize these as unwholesome and unkind behaviors: Red Flags, for someone like me.Much Love,
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