{happiness challenge} be kinder

Monday, September 09, 2013

I'm so excited to resume the happiness challenge. And gold star to Whitney over at Southern Hope for continuing on the Happiness Challenge in my absence. She's super cute, go check out her blog!

So last time we met, the challenge was "Be Who You Want to Become". I loved it so much I think it's going to have to become one of my favorite mantras for life. So in case you were following along with me, I'll start where I left off with.... Be Kinder. I mentioned C Jane's post about being generous earlier in the week and it's still on my mind. It goes perfectly with this week's happiness challenge. She was focusing on being kinder when writing about people you don't like, but her advice can be applied to all of our interactions with others and with ourselves.

When we tell the stories of our lives we naturally fit them into a framework; setting, characters, plot. We define the characters in our life as good guys or bad guys, often making us the good guys and others the bad guys, especially when they have a different viewpoint. We assume or imply that since we are intelligent and they don't agree with us then they must be blindly following or not able to come to conclusions themselves. We conclude that since we are good people and they did something that hurt us that they must be the villains in the story.

But the truth of human nature is much more rich and vibrant than that. Most people are more than mostly good, but are all trying to find their own way, their own truth. In the paths we walk we will cross many of each others' paths at an angle, not on quite the same course, sometimes crossing at complete right angles. But ours is not the job to decide who is right, but just to decide what is right for us.  We should be kinder and generous to everyone who is doing just as we are in following what they believe is right.

The same advice should be applied to our own views of ourselves. We shouldn't expect ourselves to be perfect, or know all the steps to take to get where we are going. We are asked just to make progress, to go as far as we can go. We should be kind to ourselves and not compare our path to others telling ourselves that theirs is better or that they are travelling faster or better than us. We each have different paths and should allow each other the grace to travel their own, including ourselves.

So this week be a little kinder. Forgive yourself when you don't accomplish as much as you could have. Forgive others for unkind words spoken in hard moments. Reach out to those who may be travelling a hard path without anyone there to walk with them. Happiness comes from generosity. Happiness comes from kindness.

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  1. You are always so sweet to plug me, I need to return the favor on my next one. Love your thoughts on kindness, especially about being kind to ourselves, I am the worst about that.


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