“May they always have positive experiences and happiness.”
Kindness is such an important thing to hold in your heart. Sometimes it’s easy to be kind. Puppies. Well-behaved toddlers. Retail workers who keep extra coupons at their register. Restaurant servers who don’t bill you extra for guac. It’s so easy to have kindness towards them, and to wish them positive experiences and happiness.
But this isn’t a fluffy feel good article about being nice to strangers. Let’s talk about kindness towards people you don’t like. Towards people who don’t care about you. Towards yourself.
My therapist recommended the Breathe app (not sponsored, but y’all can hit me up with a free upgrade whenever you want!) to help me meditate to manage my anxiety. Every evening, I try to use the app to check in with my feelings and my body (mindfulness!) and tonight, it recommended a meditation on kindness. It started out easily enough, think of someone or a pet that you love and want to wish kindness upon. Simple. Ivan was already tapping me with his tail, and I thought about how much I love and appreciate him and his velvety ears. Next, it prompted me to think about someone I have neutral feelings towards. A little less simple, but not so bad. Hope you have positive experiences and happiness, coworker. Then the worst: wish kindness upon someone you have negative feelings towards.
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Oh. Well…just one? I flashed through a list of people I have negative feelings towards. My ex-husband. My mother. Myself. I discarded wishing kindness upon my ex, as I’m just not ready to cross that bridge or open that box or let that cat out just yet. I landed on wishing kindness towards my mother. She’s been on my mind this week already, from her blogging about her parenting prowess to a text from my sister regarding childhood birthday parties. And while yes, I really do wish that she only has positive experiences and happiness…I want her to want that for me. Really want that for me, for unselfish reasons.
And then I wished that upon myself. For totally selfish reasons. May I always have positive experiences and happiness. Even when I fuck something up. Even when I treat myself poorly. Even when I ignore myself. Even when I do the exact opposite thing of what I know I *should* do. Positive experiences and happiness only. I deserve that. It’s okay to have that. It’s okay to want that. Nothing about me is inherently unlovable or unworthy. Sure, I can be a little too sassy and a little too anxious and a little too angry. And for some I may be too pale, too fat, too social justice warrior princess-y. But I deserve positive experiences and happiness. And so do you.