An expressed need to change others is a desperate need to change ourselves.
Kindness is the strongest way of connecting to another human being. When we have it, we feel good. When we don’t have it, we feel isolated and only think about results.
What can I get from another person? What is in it for me?
Kindness enables us to go beyond that and allows us to see everything as one. Kindness is not just something that we show to others but something we show to ourselves. If we show it to others and not to ourselves first, we end up with neediness.
Kindness is a feeling of warmth telling us that everything is ok. Telling us that we deserve good. That we are our own best friends.
Kindness is a muscle that can be developed. Just like discipline, intelligence or creativity we can work on it, improve it and increase it. The way to develop kindness is to start with ourselves. We look into what we feel right now. Right behind our solar plexus where all our emotions are hidden. Is it pain? Sadness? A cringy feeling? If we do not like it, try to change it or try to avoid it, we will never reach kindness.
We cannot avoid emotions. The good and the bad will always be there.
Just 2 weeks ago I was randomly interviewed on the street about emotions. The interviewer was a psychology student and asked me if I like negative emotions. I said “I enjoy all emotions because they will never go away. The good ones and the bad ones are connected like two sides of a medal.” She didn’t understand. She said she has a trick. Whenever she feels sad, she thinks about some pleasant experience to make it go away. I asked: “Does the sadness come back after a while?” She said “Yes.”. I asked, “Then why do you waste energy on trying to change it?” She didn’t understand my argument.
I expanded: “Imagine the seabed under the ocean. It has a pattern of ripples created by the waves. If you were to change the pattern, it would always re-emerge because the whole system is built to create this pattern. The same is true for emotions. You can try to change them but they will always re-emerge because that is how humans are built.” Now she understood what I was saying. She still seemed to prefer her technique. I understand that because dealing with emotions is the most difficult thing in the world.
Emotions are not as simple as personal hygiene. You take a shower in the morning and it will provide cleanliness in a reliable and effective way. Emotions are dynamic and unpredictable. Today your happiness-technique might take longer, tomorrow it might stop working. The only way to ride a wave is to go with the wave. If you’ve never ridden a skate board then better don’t hold on to a wall while on it because the board will slip away under your feet.
Don’t waste your resources in trying to change your emotions. Go with them. Embrace all emotions. Be kind to yourself and accept them. Go forward with an open heart.
If you deny your emotions you will move forward much slower because emotions are our inner compass. It’s like listening to your body during exercise. It will tell you when you need rest and when you should go hard.
Being good at life means being good at emotions. Deal with them.
Exercise: Sit on a pillow with crossed legs in front of a mirror. Look into your own eyes. With a straight back, raise your left hand in front of your solar plexus. Don’t touch it but hold it right in front of you. Now notice what you feel there. Your eyes will change according to the extent of the emotion. What you feel will be shown in your eyes. Finding the emotion can take up to 15 min. When you have it you can try to increase it by moving your hand in circles, spiraling over your whole body.