Kindness – in our modern Western world, this beautiful concept has become twisted, where in a “dog eat dog” world it equates to weakness. We have to push, we have to grasp at life, beat out the other guy in order to get the biggest piece of the pie.
The truth is, there is no pie.
Forget what the media tells you, forget what other people may tell you, that you need to be better than others, that to show your humanity you will soon slide down that corporate ladder. There is no ladder either.
There is no me. There is no you. All is illusion.
We are all made up of each other, there can be no separation. The tree and the coyote, the fox and the mountain, the sunlight and your brother are all made up of matter and energy. Matter and energy cannot be destroyed. They cannot come out of nothing. They only wait for the right conditions to manifest, for the right circumstances in which to come into a form that we recognise. They are always there. We have always been here. We have always been a part of this world, and a part of each other.
As humans, we have become very judgemental beings. We allow our emotions and thoughts to overide the reality of many situations. It’s far easier to judge the behaviour of others than to look deeply at our own selves. Each time we judge something, we tighten up in our hearts and in our bodies. An open heart is one that does is not judgemental. If there is no separation, there is nothing to judge.
We need to notice when we are forming judgements of people and of situations. We need to see when we are contricting our souls, when we are not open to what life really is in this present moment. We need to really begin to know what the word kindness means. If we truly see that we are all related, why would we be unkind to anyone or anything?
Do not believe in the illusion. Immerse yourself deeply in the awen, the poetic inspiration that opens the door to seeing the interconnectedness of all things. Open your heart to the wonder that is life all around you. Look into the eyes of your supposed enemy, and see their condition of being. Look into the circumstances that created their life, and see yourself reflected in that. You are them and they are you.
Being aware of each judgement we make, being aware of our thoughts about other people, being aware of what is coming out of our mouth makes such a difference to our lives. When we speak ill of someone, we are doing ill to ourselves. When we treat others unkindly, we are being unkind to our selves. Our hearts do not like to be constricted. The flow of awen, the flow of circulation in our bodies, the flow of a river or the flow of life itself moves better when we are open.
Our practice in life is simply kindness. It’s not hard, but we make it hard for ourselves. We have to lose our self-centred ego, our sense of self-importance, our sense that the world should be as we desire it to be, and not as it already is. When we have stepped away from that way of being and move into a way of being that is centred on others, be they bird or bee, refugee child or murderer, basking shark or polar bear, we see that the world is much greater than the small worlds we create around ourselves. We are released from anger and depression, hate and worry. We see how our little selves can take over, and we realise what is much more important that our little selves.
Have no fear – we will not become doormats for people to abuse if we are kind. We will not lose our place in life if we are kind. We will be happier, more free and really living as opposed to simply doing things. Kindness is not weakness – it is the truest form of being. It takes courage to be kind to someone who has hurt us. We do not have to allow them to continue hurting us, but we do not need to seek revenge, or punish them for their actions. We can let them see that they have hurt us, and we can try to understand them with an open heart free of judgement. We can look critically at a situation without judging it, without letting emotion or non-factual elements into the equation. We can release our self-centred perception to get a look at the bigger picture, and try to help others instead of focusing on our selves.
It’s not easy, changing the way you think and behave. We have to really pay attention. We have to be really aware of how we are, how we react, what we say and do in any given situation. We need to look deeply into our being, through practice and meditation, through every single act of our waking lives. We have to be willing to change out of our old habits and our old ways of self-centred thinking. We have to try, again and again, to step outside of our little selves.
When we do, the world opens up in wonder.
May your life be filled with wonder.