Now, this is not to say that I abdicate benevolence or believe we should be excused from the responsibility of treating others with respect, dignity and goodwill. It’s a simple matter of addressing the well of underlying beliefs that will either see us flourish or become stuck. It is much more helpful to believe that we are moral and considerate human beings and find our centre of balance and belonging within. These internal affirmations will see our intentions and actions fall into alignment. Nice is defined as delightful, pleasant and gratifying whereas kind is defined as showing a charitable and benevolent disposition that is considerate and helpful. Rumi once said “Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing.”
Our aim in all encounters should be to leave others better than before. Sometimes acts appear people pleasing but come from a place of genuine benevolence. There is a certain overlap that ensures they don’t need to be mutually exclusive or inclusive. Objectives aside, you’ll naturally receive a favourable response to actions that are advantageous to those apart from you. As long as we act from a place of generosity and compassion with the understanding that everybody is worthy and belongs, we will receive high regard. Kindness does not have to pump the ego or send you on a prideful trip. Instead, it will call you home to yourself. People pleasing that does not come from a strong, pure foundation of wanting to share light and blessings with others can be harmful. Simply seeking to feel good about yourself can foster environments of codependency, avoidance, abandonment and lead to entrapment through abuse, neglect and control.
Stop jumping through hoops to find your belonging. Why dance to a rhythm that has no groove, no beat? The full spectrum of relationships we enjoy have common connective points that test and support growth, carving out trust between individuals engaged in it. The right person will never demand you prove yourself worthy of belonging, shrink to meet their demands or mould yourself into somebody you’re not. You do not have to be traditionally good to receive gift and favour from the divine, from the earth, from the essence of all that lives and breathes. The path you must follow is within- to borrow the words of Richard Rohr, ordinary matter is the hiding place of spirit. The divine does not hide from us but requires uncovering. Lift those figurative ivy clad branches and remember that goodness is in your essence, albeit hidden underneath protective mechanisms of pleasing, performing and perfecting. Dust off these harsh, unforgiving qualities and unbury the hidden. May it see the light of day.
Consider this: “Today I bent the truth to be kind and I have no regret. For I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true”- Robert Braught.