Consider, for a moment, engaging in an act of kindness. I word this request in this particular way in order for you to get how huge an endeavor it is. It is not just a matter of doing. An act of kindness, or any act, for that matter, comes from a state of being. So, to consider, brings you into the moment where you begin to mindfully engage in cultivating awareness of the state of being, which allows an act kindness can unfold.
Where does an act of kindness begin? Maybe it would be helpful to begin by looking at where acts of revenge come from. Revenge is as intentional and kindness, don’t you think? You have to consider how you want to employ your energies in service to fulfilling revenge. We say we want to get revenge, or get even. What’s the quality of being that generates or inspires revenge? The thought might be something like “they got what I wanted; that was supposed to be mine; they hurt me, so I’m going to hurt them.”
These thoughts arise from a place within – a place that is experiencing some sort of violation. Most likely it arises from a felt-sense of a violation of trust. We feel it in our bodies. Trust is based on a belief or a perception that is so inherent in our being that we have come to see it as my right. When my right is violated, I want to correct the error through might. And, if I get my way, that revenge will feel sweet! Can you see how much consideration goes into being engaged in an act of revenge?
So back to engaging in an act of kindness: What is this foundation of an act of kindness? As, I’m writing, I’m considering the source of that act, and its challenging to experience it in my body, though I know that it is within my body that the source resides.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness, Senseless acts of Beauty is saying that has been around for a long time. I was profoundly moved by this statement from the first time a saw it. “Why,” I asked myself “do we need to post these kinds of phrases that remind us to practice kindness and beauty?” I then considered the degree to which I practiced random acts of kindness and beauty and realized that it wasn’t as often as I thought.
When I began to practice random acts of kindness and beauty, I realized the degree to which my “kindness” was attached to looking good in the eyes of any witness. Rarely were my acts purely an act of kindness, generosity or beauty. I saw my ulterior motives. This was humbling, to say the least.
I realized that I had a lot of pent up resentments. I could sense that resentment in my body and heard the words in my head “Well, why should I…; Why do I have to be the one?” Or, “Why is it always me.” This gave me pause to reflect and consider how I’m choosing to live my life, and perhaps I could consider choosing differently.
Like each and every one of us, I have plenty of reasons to withhold kindness, to be resentful, angry and vengeful, but, that isn’t actually in alignment with what I teach. There’s something that had to shift within me in order to allow kindness.
As part of a coaching training program, I was introduced to the concept of acknowledging people for the contributions they bring into the world – just by being. We were asked to acknowledge people – especially people we didn’t like. Acknowledging people is an act of kindness. And, as I considered who I would acknowledge, I experienced a visceral response, which attempted to convince me that I had a right to my position of righteousness, and the person I was supposed to acknowledge didn’t deserve to be acknowledged. I didn’t want to give them something for free.
This was such a powerful moment as I considered how self-righteous I am with my “Oh, so loving” demeanor. The fact was that I had been a pretty hate-full human being. Now what?
Sourcing my acts from a place void of hate, resentment and anger, required that I unconceal the essence of my humanness; the one I trust is real and foundational to my experience of connection and compassion. I considered what I’d lose through engaging in an act of kindness and realized that the only thing I’d be losing was my self-righteousness.
I also considered what I would gain through such an act. I realized that I’d gain the quality of engaged connection that I always wanted with others – not out of manipulation, not out of a need to be seen as good and loving, but out of an authentic expression of what is true, in this moment.
In considering engaging in random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty, I realized that, my acts impact me at a soul level, in that, when my words or actions are in alignment with my highest truth I experience fulfillment. Allowing engagement at this level allows for the fullest expression of my essential nature, and, at the same time, allows for the awareness of the same in another.
I know, without a doubt that acts of revenge and hate can sometime feel oh – so – GOOD! However, as always, considering the outcome of my acts of hatred or acts of kindness, I am at choice. And, sometimes it isn’t an easy choice! It’s a moment to consider.
I would be oh, so, honored to support you in empowering yourself to be the fullest expressions of kindness and beauty. This can be hard work, so sometimes hiring a thinking partner just makes sense! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.