The Intent of Kindness

This is something that has been on my mind recently as I find myself having a rough recovery this week and still not able to get back to that feeling good place of the process. I have to accept that, and I can’t force it. I have to learn that resting isn’t always this R&R that I picture by taking advantage of the time to get stuff done. Even in the hospital I found it weird when all the nurses found it strange that nurses were surprised I was doing work. Now it literally doing nothing at times, just to let the time pass. Not my strong suit, but I am learning.

So, in my time resting, there were periods of which I could think about writing, and this one came up a lot. The intent of kindness and how much that could do for you and the world overall.

Now, it’s a little different for me, but I felt it was a good comparison still. I don’t really go out these days, so I haven’t had any negative situations, but I know they are all around.

By asking each of you to focus on the intent of kindness, I’m asking you to think through what you say or have said. Whether it’s to your loved ones, people at work, or complete strangers. The idea being that we never know what other people are going through or how life has developed them, but we do have control over our actions and reactions.

I mentioned above that it’s different for me. Well it’s pretty clear everyone I’m around these days knows exactly what I am going through and their actions show it accordingly. Now, it is an odd feeling when I go out in public. While I’ve never been one to look for arguments or fights, it’s a bit strange to walk around thinking that no one knows what’s going on with me. My answer is always to become more empathetic myself, so I am prepared for any interaction.

What does that mean? To truly have the intent of kindness? I’m going to breeze past the easy times of when you are happy, loved ones all ready, and kindness just comes. When you need to check your true intention is your responses to being challenged. Let’s go with work first, have you ever be in a position of thinking three things, as a response? One probably the dream of venting, never the best. The second though is the dangerous one. The one you take time on, feel you got on of your important point across, but likely crossed the line by feeling and not writing. What you wrote could be just fine and not looked at as aggressive, no it’s the other, much more dangerous side of passive-aggressive. You think you snuck you point in a answer of the question. Now, you should always voice your thoughts/concerns, but the emotion must stay out of it. Then the third is that re-write where you take out the passive-aggressiveness, no hidden digs, and only address the subject at hand and not the people. Choose kindness and forget the rest.

Our relationships are even more important. Disagreements don’t have to become arguments, we make them that way by losing our kindness and instead focusing on the points we want to make over someone else. I’ve thought about this enough in the past and have to laugh at how stupid I have been at times. In times of disagreements now with K (not much recently, so I’ll refer to “normal” time more), when I stop to listen, I inevitably still get to the second stage first, the one where I want to make my point the most, prove that “I’m right”, or whatever the motivation is at the time. Unlike our early years of marriage, I almost always catch those, because they had no intent of kindness and love, and how could I put proving my point above that. So now I catch it, shake my head a bit, and answer in a way in which I share my feelings, but not trying to “win” with the ill intent of making the other person feel bad.

Work, loved ones, or general public, I wish more would take this intention of kindness as the focus in their interactions with people. Extra gestures and things are amazing, but not needed in my opinion. The first step is finding kindness yourself. Someone cuts you off in the crowded parking lot? Maybe they are picking stuff up for a sick loved one at home and rushed without even seeing you. It wasn’t their intent to hurt you, so why react that way.

For those looking from the negative, maybe he absolutely cut you off on purpose. His intent doesn’t have to be yours. Move on. In a relationship that doesn’t work, then don’t make it worse, move on with the intent of kindness to both of you.

You see, your intent for kindness will be there for you and then help others along the way. Giving kindness makes you shine. Some people have a long way to go in that way, but you getting lost in negativity with those people doesn’t help you at all! You may feel better for a bit, but that negativity will grow and bring more instances like that in which you feel a need to react, because you did before. It’s a vicious circle that only leaves you negative and not knowing exactly why.

This holiday season I suggest you give yourself the intention of kindness and see just how you feel after a month.

Thanks all and thank you as always TEAMjeff

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