Are You Kind?

I can’t stop thinking about something that happened to me or rather, for me, the other day. For many reasons it affected me profoundly.

Perhaps, because I’ve been so ill. Perhaps, because for the last two years death and dying has been such an invasive subject. Maybe, because I’m alone without human touch. Or is it because I’ve lost trust, had my heart-broken, struggle to find hope purpose and joy in the “in-between moments” of pain and illness. Is it because I was adopted and abused?      Who knows. It just is. Most likely all of those things.IMG_2662 I love Brené Brown’s quote above for many reasons. It’s very challenging for many people including of course, adoptees, people who have been abused, neglected, are chronically ill, or just trying to move forward. The experience I had, I realize now, was only possible because I allowed myself to be vulnerable.

At this point in my life, nothing is off-limits. I’m an open book. My heart is wide open. My mind accepting, forgiveness comes easily when your time on this earth is unpredictable and could change any moment. The truly important things become obvious.

The definition of Kindness is rather simple.

the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate, affection, warmth gentleness, care

Kindness is synonymous with Love except that Love is a state of being and Kindness is a state of doing. When you can make each human interaction a moment inspired by Love, you are practising Kindness…you are taking the step. Love allows us to see the people on our path as the Buddhas they are, and then Kindness allows us to bless them  with loving acts.IMG_2010

I know what i experienced was far deeper than “just kindness”. It was authentic compassion. Authentic empathy. Authentic gentleness offered by a very kind soul.

So many people say they’re kind, perhaps even truly believe they are. Unfortunately for the receiver, you can feel the disingenuous energy and know it’s feeding their own ego being.

Many adoptees I’ve encountered over the years experience the same feeling when offered authentic kindness morsels. It’s overwhelming often leading to tears. The fact that someone truly cares and is offering you a piece of their heart in their hand can be overwhelming to say the least. How sad that such a deeply ingrained belief can still be present even at my ripe old age. From the time you absorb the negative energy in utero, you have the belief you aren’t worthy of love. Of course you know it’s not true. It’s just so deep that until someone comes along and offers you authentic kindness and you let yourself be vulnerable and open to receiving it, that you realize what you’ve lost.

Of course, I’m speaking for myself here, but I know others have experienced the same.

Here’s the story. As I mentioned, I’ve been dealing with my own mortality and all that it entails. Dying is a lot of work! Paperwork, emotional work, medical work, constant thinking work, saying goodbye work. A great deal of work. It’s especially challenging when you are alone. I’m blessed to have a couple of dearly loved friends, the ones that pulled me through my near death hospitalization. We had dinner one night and laughed until we cried as we discussed my death. Now, those are good friends!

Oh right, the story.

I was in a meeting. A business meeting with a business person I’ve known for many years now. I’m filling him in on some of “the story”. You know, the one that is over. The story of the last few years, condensed of course! I’ve been very tearful since my last admission to hospital last week. Part Mast Cell Madness, part facing reality and the exhaustion of it all. I felt a tear slip out of my eye and roll down my cheek. When I looked up, there he sat. His hands were stretched out to me, palms up. His eyes focused on mine. At first i was confused. What does he want? A “low five”, “patty cakes” “a book”?

What? What?

Then it hit me!

I’m supposed to put my hands in his! OMG! He’s being authentically kind! He’s oozing empathy and compassion. I reached over and gently lowered my hands onto his. He slowly rolled up his fingers wrapping my hands in the warmth of connection. I could feel the energy, the caring. I could feel his gaze. I forced my eyes to move from our hands to his eyes. He looked and said softly, “I’m here for you. Do you hear me? I’m here for you.”

It was authentic and my heart burst open, leaving me flailing in vulnerability and tears. For that moment, I felt the healing energy of..

Compassion, empathy and authentic kindness

IMG_3204

I wonder why more people can’t speak from the heart through actions. Words mean very little unless accompanied by actions.

I wonder if others take this for granted. I wonder what it would be like to experience this daily. I can’t stay there too long because I’d know all I’ve missed. What I can do, is encourage everyone to connect, to care, to be kind every chance you get. You will never know what a gift you have given to someone. A gift that may have changed the course of their life.

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“We are each of us angels with only one wing.

And we can only fly embracing each other.”

 Luciano De Crescenzo

 

 

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “Are You Kind?

  1. Oh Clair I could sooooo relate to your post. Thoughtfulness kindness and consideration totally throw me for a loop and bring forth tears. Not because I expect to to be shit on but because it simply is so unexpected…Hugs Woman. Big hugs.

  2. a wise and courageous woman once said “why not?” and the world welcomed her presence to practice her fluent heart. was there ever any question in her steps…

  3. You put such power into your writing. I saw a new pain doc a couple of weeks ago to try trigger point injections. I couldnt figure out what was wrong. He was competent. But completely dismissed me when i said that my body is very sensitive. Gave me a cookie cutter treatment, but missed the fact that one of my trigger points is a good cm ‘off’ where it should be. When you get right next to a trigger point, it doesnt overload the point and make it better. It pisses it off. I was struggling to explain what bothered me. And that is it. He was careless. In the basic sense of the word- he didnt care. There could have been a machine or a person touching me, for all i could tell. The schools are slowing moving away from their ridiculous stances on touching children. I cant imagine spending a day witha class of 20 primary students and NOT use touch. Touch is a fundamental human need. Western culture is SO afraid of touch, afraid to knock down those facades and speak openly about the difference between beneficial (and vital) versus sexual touch. The next time you come through town, stop by and i will give you ahuge hug! My Mom was a cuddly person, and im a huggy one, but not as good as my Mom was.
    A lot of hospitals have volunteer baby cuddlers, maybe if you have to go there anyhow, you could go snuggle for a bit- it’d do you both a lot of good!People are so insular in oir society. The idea that we should live alone, at all, really does go counter to our biology. In a society e300 yeqrs ago, the young and old helepd each other out. Denmark has care centres that rely on elderly residents to help care for the preschoolers. It makes so much sense.

    K

    • Thanks Karen. You’re absolutely right. We are meant to experience connection and love. It’s the whole “adoption, abuse” belief systems that are so totally ingrained that prevent so many of us from experiencing what others may take for granted…sigh. I’ll stop by for a hug for sure!

  4. “I wonder what it would be like to experience this daily. “ Hi Claire – I’m a non-adoptee and just want to let you know that I don’t experience this daily yet I am happily married with children and grandchildren. I think I may need to up my game in the kindness way. Sending you love – I’m Maggies FB friend too xx

  5. Claire …. You are the kindest most compassionate person I’ve ever known ..I am so sorry your journey has been so sad and your physical health such a battle….You have taught me so much ….more than you may realize … And I am forever grateful …. You will always be my bodhisattva… What a treasure you are 💕 I wish you love and peace in your heart always and forever.

  6. You have my heart Claire. Your journey was unwelcomed and is unknown, but through your words, I feel your transition, your acceptance, your courage. In the past, I have seen your sadness, confusion, your anger, and your loving spirit and your humour. Claire, my friend, you are the most genuine human I have ever met. Love you gal! Love this blog and the timeless and timely message.

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