It's so easy to spin stories about how someone wronged us or cheated us. We can turn a story of how generous we are to be that others are now taking advantage of us. What are the stories you tell yourself about other people? How does the mental talk in your own head blow up to be another story we are feeding our egos? It's so easy to be led down that road where someone owes us something, we are not good enough, or whatever web you choose to weave.
Recently someone very wise, who is reading The Book of Joy (by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama) said to me : " To find joy and alleviate oneself from suffering, one must turn the attention of their own suffering outwards and look to help others from suffering"
So in essence the message is different for each individual. For me, once I looked a little closer, trying to be kind is not the same as just being kind. If you have to "try to be kind" you aren't "kind". Secondly I came to conclude kindness towards others essentially also means you must be kind to yourself. We can judge ourselves harshly - criticizing the way we look, our bodies, our intelligence, etc - the list goes on. As we continue to judge ourselves, we place the same judgement on others. Essentially it is a never ending cycle.
The other day I was really quite exhausted, so I skipped my morning run and took a brisk walk instead. It was so nice to focus on the darkness of the sky, the birds lightly singing and the chill in the air. I couldn't remember the last time I took a day off from running. It must have been over 9 months, but it was called for.
So ask yourself today - how are you being kind to yourself? To others? By contributing one person at a time, we are building a collective community and world that supports and encourages rather than criticizes. You have the choice to be kind