Paul has an enthusiasm for exploring the world of spiritual well being which he wishes to share in all that he writes.
I usually think of myself as one who is kind. But, perhaps, I am not as kind as I can be. Although one may be hard pressed, I hope, to catch me behaving meanly, or even uttering a discouraging word, I believe that in kindness, I am still lacking. This is because I am not always kind in thought.
Just a Thought
A thought is of the mind, an idea imagined. A thought may be something just passing through, and more than a great many do. Sometimes it seems that one gets thrown into my lap, handed to me from out of the blue. But thoughts come from within, even when they are in reaction to some situation or circumstance outside. Some of these thoughts may be of the negative, not so good, variety - worrisome thoughts, troubled thoughts, and yes, even unkind thoughts. They may also be in reaction to some not so good thing that someone has said or done, catching me by surprise, saying, " I bet you did not see that one coming,"
It is not unreasonable to think that I may at times react negatively to things like these, and to possess thoughts that are far from kindly. That is okay, as long as I do not let them possess me, or do not choose to hold on to them. The good news is that there is no law, as far as I know, stating that I have to keep these unkind thoughts; I am allowed to give them back, returning them to that ever flowing stream, making room for new and perhaps more kindlier ones.
I may hold onto these thoughts, however, because I think that they make me right: my sense of pride finds them appealing. Perhaps I believe that they will somehow make me feel good, even though I know this cannot be so. I hold on to these thoughts because they are mine; they are my pets, my pets of peeves. Most people love their pets, and would like to hold on to them forever, but why would I or anyone else want to have a "peeve" for a pet. It is time to let go of these unkind thoughts before I inadvertently, or purposely, pass them on in the form of some unkind words or deeds.
My sometimes unkind thoughts may be in reaction to an unkindness of another, but they may also be in response to some words or deeds that express points of view or ways of doing things that I find difficult to accept whether they are unkind or not. Thoughts like these often arise in anticipation of some expected encounter with someone with whom I am not on the same page. or perhaps, not even in the same universe. But don't worry, I'll be ready. Armed with my pride and self-righteousness, I plan to endure. I already have imagined scenarios of how things will transpire, my mind teeming with unkindness, resulting in myself being the mean one. There may also be some situation or circumstance that I am not happy about that seems to induce unkind thoughts. But I know that being angry at these things, or being unkind to those associated with them, will not make them go away or get better. So I remain civil, putting on a kind face. At other times, I may sense some perceived unkindness being thrown my way, when in fact, it is merely a reaction to my own dourness, my unkindness being mirrored back at me.
I have always believed that being kind and putting it out there is a good thing, even if I do not always feel kind. I know that any act of kindness can lead to feelings of kindness, even in myself. This is the power of kindness. But would it not be more powerful if it arose from kindlier feelings?
Drop the Attitude
I have found that by holding on to negative thoughts, I seem to attract more of the same. What was once a pebble in my hand has grown to become an armful of stones. What was once a bunch of thoughts has become an attitude, and like those stones, it is heavy and cumbersome. At some point, the time will come when I must let go and return them to that river of thoughts in such a way that they will flow away from me. They tend to linger, however. But I do not fret because I know that the river also contains an abundance of good thoughts, kind thoughts, which possess much more power. Sometimes I need to remind myself of this. The time has come to drop the attitude and scoop up some of that good stuff.
So I let go and turn my attention to that ever flowing river of thoughts, and see it as a river of goodness, a river of blessings. I pick out a thought of kindness, and it too seems to attract more of the same; it too can become an attitude. But it does not get heavy, This is not because I drop it; this is because I give it away, allowing the power of kindness to do its work. This kindly attitude becomes a kindly action, a kindly word, and leads to more kind thoughts.
Thoughts Of Kindness
Kind thoughts lead to kind words and kind actions. They also lead to kind feelings, feelings of compassion and understanding. I find myself being more empathetic, feeling more for others, forgetting for the moment myself and for my need to be right, forgetting for the moment my flaws and my woes. I return to that river of thoughts and see it as an overflowing of the goodness that lies in my heart, the goodness that lies in the hearts of all of us
It is from the realm of love that kindness comes. It is in the realm of love, where compassion and understanding dwell. It is the gift of love that allows us to live in compassionate ways. It is the gift of love that empowers us to be kind and understanding. When we are in this loving state, thoughts of kindness arise naturally, so there is no need to burden ourselves with unkind thoughts and negative attitudes. When we are in this loving state we see just how powerful any kind word or deed can be in making a difference in any ones life, making a difference in the world.
Love driven kindness can be quite powerful. Any simple kind behavior that that we may have shown to someone yesterday may still be making its way through the world today, being multiplied many times over, forever being enhanced as it continues, brining smiles to many faces.
And so we take another step. We are loved. We are blessed. Being and living in a loving state allows us to move forward. We move forward on that ever elusive path towards a more peaceable world.
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© 2016 Paul K Francis