The daily practice of showing up in love and service of others is terribly easy when interacting with amiable, likeable folks. It's easy when we face no resistance or when we don't have our motives questioned. It's easy when we are always surrounded by people who love us, look up to us, or when we are their last hope.
But to remain kind in our thoughts and actions when these ideal conditions do not exist requires special attention.
Kindness, in it's purest form, is an action/interaction stemming from the heart, that expresses the energy of love, peace and tranquillity.
As such, all actions of kindness are ways to bring the energy of love, peace and tranquillity to the situation, person or living being.
But how can we show loving, kind thoughts or do a kind deed when we are faced with cruelty, indifference or an uncaring attitude?
Before we answer that question, it's worth remembering that the practice of kindness has different levels.
To begin with, pure kindness can only be practiced or shown to others when we have learned to be kind to ourselves. We need to hold within us loving, peaceful and tranquil thoughts. We need to be self-aware of how we feel about ourselves. Only then will we stay true in our practice and our internal intention will match the actual act of kindness.
Therefore, the first level of practicing kindness is always toward self.
The next level of practicing kindness is where most of us operate.
The kindness that is shown when certain ideal conditions are met. Being kind to like-minded people, kind actions toward a cause we believe in, or being kind when we aren't faced with other pressing matters. This is a good place to land on because it gives us the practical experience of the energy and shows us how much of an impact we can make to our immediate realities.
This brings us to the main question about practicing kindness from a place of love and tranquillity when conditions are less than ideal. It's not enough that the outward action is kind, but it must be internally matched by the energy of kindness.
To get us internally aligned with the energy of kindness when faced with cruelty, we use a process called "Remembering Kindness."
Quite simply, we take a few minutes to remember the kindness that has been shown to us in the past. By our friends, teachers, or strangers. Take that moment to reflect on how these kind acts helped us when we were feeling down, scared, or hopeless.
Think about how a selfless act protected, comforted, and relieved us of our discomfort, pain or suffering. Think of all those acts done by others that allow us to live and thrive, the countless people we may never know about and, even more, we may never meet.
Remembering Kindness is a way of showing gratitude for all those acts of kindness that have got us this far, to this moment. It is a way of thinking on the gift of nurturing energy that continuously flows to us. It is a way of rejoicing in the knowledge that there is always someone who has shown up for us when we needed it the most.
Through the practice of Remembering Kindness, we can continue to evolve from within, strengthen the love we feel, and learn to connect to the "humanity" of the situation.
This way we release our personal dislike about the situation or person in front of us, and proceed to act from a place of love, peace and tranquillity.
Here's to you conjuring up this magic the next time it seems difficult to be kind.
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