The last couple of weeks have been a personal struggle. I’ve been sad, going through some tough ups and downs. We’ve all had times in our lives when we’ve felt like we’re not good enough, that we don’t matter, that people don’t like us.
For me, the natural response is to retreat. I go away from people. I hide. Like everyone else, I want to be loved and feel connected, and when I don’t feel that way, I stop sharing. I stop connecting.
And yet there’s that nothing stands in the way of connection and happiness more than our own negative thoughts—the ones that tell me I’m not enough, that I’m unworthy of love, that I deserve my sadness.
The only solution I’ve found is to find a way to stop believing every thought that comes into my head. I know I’m able to quiet those voices when I spend time with other people. Connection with others is an opening that lets the horrifyingly negative thoughts, things I would never dare say to another person, escape.
Connection is an opening that lets the light in.
What does this have to do with kindness? Kindness is connection. Helping another person tells them that they matter, but as important, so do you. It let’s us know we’re not alone. And in the process, it can shut down the negative thoughts.
Even knowing that kindness cures my negative thinking, it’s hard to be kind when I’m feeling sad and alone. At the same time, it is a reminder that my life matters, that I matter. And it’s not selfish to want to know that you matter.
Next time you’re struggling, try it. Instead of retreating, hiding with the voices, be kind to someone else. It will help them, and it may be the kindest thing you can do for yourself.