Kindness and Self on World Kindness Day
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Mandy Atkinson, Psychotherapist and Clincal Supervisor
13th November, 20120 Comments
Whilst driving this morning I heard a reminder on the radio that it was World Kindness day, today. The focus of this as far as I understood it, was about being kind towards other people. Thinking of as many ways you can to show and share kindness with others. According to Kindness UK World Kindness Day is a day to celebrate and promote kindness in all its forms and that World Kindness Day is celebrated all over the world. I thought about kindness some more. The emphasis of World Kindness Day being on offering of kindness to others. Showing empathy and doing something for other people, from the heart. Inspiring other people to do the same. I reflected on my work with my clients as I thought about this. How might this be if we looked at this in a different way? I wondered: how gentle are people to themselves? How familiar is it for people to actually be on the on the receiving end of kindness? How easy is it for people to accept kindness?
If someone gets something wrong, and they don’t achieve what they had hoped to, how are they towards themselves? What is the internal dialogue? Perhaps they are late for a meeting, for example, how are they with themselves? Do they give themselves a hard time? So many people do. The lifestyle and environment within which so many people live is highly pressured and so tough. Experiencing and being under considerable pressure can be so difficult to handle. One more thing goes wrong and life gets really frustrating. Perhaps that frustration is taken expressed internally. Perhaps they are not familiar with being truly acknowledged for what they have achieved rather than what they haven’t. What emphasis is there on what they haven’t achieved as opposed to what they have? How much care and consideration do they give to themselves?
Being able to express and show kindness towards others feels good. However, shouldn’t kindness start from within? Being gentler and kinder to ourselves is an important part of self-care. It is far too easy to forget to look after yourself when they are so many other things that must be focused on. Being kinder to yourself then could be about eating healthily or getting enough sleep. Or it could be about listening to that internal dialogue you have with yourself and consider being gentler on you and what you have achieved. Today, or in that moment. Being kinder and gentler to ourselves is another way of looking at kindness.
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