Be Kind to Yourself

Love kindness. The second part of Micah’s famous statement tells us to love kindness. Not dandelion-463928_960_720simply to be kind or to show someone kindness, but to love it. I’m guessing that Micah meant love in the deepest, truest sense of the word. Not just I love autumn! but deep, spiritual, unshakable love.

Yesterday, I posted the song Be Kind to Yourself from Alright Alright. China wrote this song to her children, but I loved the lyrics for myself. The first verse says,

Be kind to yourself, ’cause who’s gonna stand up to you when you’re mean to yourself in your head?

Be good to each other, you are the gail for the sails.

Be noble for you are made of stardust

Shine on little heart shaped stars!

BE KIND by China Curtiss Kent, (c) 2015

I think it’s interesting that, as Micah relays God’s requirements he says to do justice and then love kindness. Those two don’t often seem to go together. Justice can be so stern, so unforgiving. Justice reminds me of courts, of activism, of loud voices.

Kindness makes me think of my girls, of friendship, of walks and coffee and relational things. I wonder if this is why God put those two together? Without kindness, justice is harsh, loud, abrasive. Coupled with kindness, justice is seeing through the lens of empathy and storytelling.

Kindness starts in our own heads and hearts. As China sings, who’s gonna stand up to you when you’re mean to yourself in your head?

When we are kind to ourselves, being kind to others comes more naturally. When we seek justice in our own lives, seeking justice globally comes more naturally.

As I learn more about this world and the injustices in it, I can feel overwhelmed. I need to remember to start small, and sometimes that means starting with myself. Kindness can be hard. It takes a certain bravery and vulnerability to recognize the need for kindness in our own lives.

I do know that when I am kind to myself, in my successes and failures, I am kinder to my little family. And they, in turn, are kinder in their interactions. It’s totally the ripple effect and yet, I can so easily forget it.

Today, I hope that you are able to stop and recognize areas in your own life that need a bit of extra kindness. However that looks, I hope that you are able to take a moment and fulfill that need to be kind to yourself.

How do you practice self-kindness? When do you know that you need to stop and recognize that important piece of care?

BackyardThis post is Day 16 of the Write 31 Days Challenge. I’m spending the month of October writing about the Backyard Justice. You can find the entire series over at my Backyard Justice page.

8 thoughts on “Be Kind to Yourself

  1. I love that you are able to see and hear with an open heart. What a great trait to have. I read a blog post that related something that made me think of you and your posts.

    “Be curious, not critical. Criticalness can be heavy, negative, tiring, isolating. Curiosity can be light, inquisitive, loving, connecting.”

    It related to a book called, Big Magic: The Art of Creative Living. Though the book may be off topic the words above sounded relatable in ways of interacting with self and others. I need to be less critical of myself and be more curious about myself. Be more curious of others and less critical as well. Perhaps I need to acknowledge my faults, but be less critical and become curious as to why something happened, and hopefully prevent a repeat.

    1. I’m (kinda) quoting Elizabeth Gilbert tomorrow… 😉 So true– curiosity is the core, isn’t it? I need to embrace this curiosity more, without overthinking it…

  2. Beautiful! THIS: “Without kindness, justice is harsh, loud, abrasive. Coupled with kindness, justice is seeing through the lens of empathy and storytelling.”

  3. I had never thought about the coupling of justice and kindness in that verse. Your insight gives me a deeper understanding of it and what God requires of us. Being kind to myself has been difficult at times. I never thought too much about it. I’m glad that has changed.

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