What a Tree Can Teach You about Kindness

What a Tree Can Teach You about Kindness

On Monday, Craig stayed home from work and through the morning, I still found myself bitter. Poor guy. HE'S SICK and I can't seem to muster up the compassion I know I should have and should be showing.

Part of the problem is that on Saturday, we spent all day working in the garden. Craig helped me. All day. But instead of resting in that gratitude for the day he was able to help, instead I grew resentful of the fact that we still had so much to do (inside and outside) and now, I would be completing all these tasks by myself.

I could have done the sane thing and adjusted the amount of items reasonably achievable by one person. But when I get in my "uber-productive" mode, I lose some section of my brain entitled "Rational thought." Words such as EFFICIENCY! PRODUCTIVITY! ORGANIZATION! ORDER! play through my brain on repeat. And anything (anyone?) that tries to disrupt my work? The image of Alice and Wonderland's Queen of Hearts passes through my mind.

Sad.

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One Reason Why It's Hard to Be (Authentically) Kind

One Reason Why It's Hard to Be (Authentically) Kind

The more grace I see I need, the more grace I am able to extend. The more I allow myself to be loved and cared for, the more I am able to genuinely love and care for others.

I am wondering: Could this be true for kindness, too? If I don't believe I should be kind to myself, am I able to, with no strings attached, be kind to others? If I don't practice treating myself with kindness, do I really believe that being kind to others is truly valuable? Am I kind because I genuinely want to be, instead of just because the Bible tells me to be or because it's the "right thing to do?"

So much of these questions are rooted in my struggles about my worth. If I give into the lie that my worth is based on my work, it will be very difficult for me to devote time to be kind to myself. If self-kindness becomes a rewards-based system, I run the risk of telling myself I didn't do well enough or give enough to really deserve it. I will then just keep pushing myself, relentlessly. And if I believe that kindness must be meted out, weighed on an invisible scale, am I ever able to give to others freely? Without secretly keeping a record of my goodness or expecting something in return?

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A Thousand Miles in a Single Sentence

A Thousand Miles in a Single Sentence

There's an old song by The Proclaimers called "I'm Gonna Be" (also known as the "500 miles" song) that has been a favorite of mine since the original Shrek movie came out. The chorus made me swoon every time I heard it:

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

Those grand gestures have a way of capturing my heart and leading me to believe, "Now this. This is love." And then, unfortunately, it morphs into statements like, "If Craig really loved me, he'd do _________." And it's not limited to how far he'd walk for me.

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