Love kindness. The second part of Micah’s famous statement tells us to love kindness. Not simply 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!
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?
This 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.