A few days ago in a conversation someone said something to me that was not very nice. Then I sat back and witnessed my response to that comment.
I felt compassion for this person, as she could not see or hear herself and how she was showing up.
I knew this comment was untrue and therefore it did not hurt me.
I stood still and listened, and then planned to find a way to turn the conversation around and allow for kindness to find her.
I have to be honest here and say this was no easy task. Nope. Not at all.
But what was there that made it easier was compassion. I felt it.
I felt it more than other times.
I could see why she was unkind to me and all the reasons that got her to this place.
But this was an exception to all the times I come across unkind people or unkind actions.
I get very hostile towards unkindness.
It’s the one thing that gets me and brings out the worst in me actually.
Kindness is the highest of virtues, and when it’s missing I see the opposite and I can’t find my way around it.
I was able to see beyond the unkindness and find my way to compassion.
Why am I sharing this with you?
What does this have to do with loss and life after loss?
In my life after loss, I have made it a priority to surround myself only with kind people.
Even when it meant that there would be nobody left to be with.
I went to extreme measures to take out all the unkindness from my life, as loss had made me so vulnerable inside all of that exterior strength.
And even now years later, I seek only kind people and it is the number one criteria for friendships, team members and family. Yes, family members too.
Just because we belong to the same family tree it doesn’t mean that I choose your unkindness.
It took me a long time to find clarity around this.
And lately, I realized that I had made it the number one reason as to why I choose the people in my life.
And they don’t have to be kind to me directly but they have to be kind in their own lives.
So today, I am going to ask you to build a life after loss with kind people only.
You can absolutely help the unkind ones and have compassion for them, but don’t let them in when you are vulnerable and your heart is broken.
I know there is a lot of gray areas when it comes to kindness.
But this letter is about the extreme unkindness you have had in your life.
The extreme unkindness you have witnessed and is still around you.
We have to bring in kindness because kindness heals.
It is like a feeling that goes beyond time and space, beyond lives and it heals both past and future losses.
Kindness is something that people can catch as well. It spreads. It grows.
And it is needed when your heart is broken.
In our community of Life Starters we have a rule that anything said in an unkind and judgmental way is not accepted or protected in any way.
Look at your communities, your families, your schools and your friendships and create this one rule: kindness is mandatory.
I hope one day I will be able to write a letter that helps you be kind to unkind people, but I am not there yet. For now, and for this letter, we work on surrounding ourselves with kindness and love and that must be our number one priority.
I love you.