In Search of Kindness Within
Here I am… just another person in this vast universe, living, breathing, and feeling, much like you. There are days when life feels a little too heavy, a bit too messy. Days when it seems like the world around me is in fast forward and I’m stuck in pause. Caught in the aftershock of shattered dreams, I sometimes find myself lost in my own reflection, in the midst of all the fragments, trying to figure out where the pieces should go, or if they even fit anymore. And it hurts… it does…
You know, the world outside seems pretty chaotic, right? Everyone hustling, bustling, darting around, like they’ve got it all figured out… And then there’s the world inside us – it’s like a quiet, reflective mirror. A personal echo chamber filled with all our hopes, fears, dreams, memories, expectations.
Often, we become our own harshest critics within that echo chamber… I know I do… I whisper sharp words and they bounce back at me louder, harsher. The interesting thing is that I understand very well that those whispers aren’t the whole story. They’re just fragments of it, no more defining of me than a single pixel of a vast, vibrant portrait. Yet, I still do it… I turn my flaws into canyons, my mistakes into mountains, painting a landscape of judgment and expectation.
You know, when I comfort a friend, I don’t just see a single pixel. I see the full picture. All the colors, shades, shapes, and outlines that make them who they are. I tell them it’s okay, that they’re human, that they’re more than their pain, their flaws, their mistakes. And I mean every word of it. I listen to them, to the harmony of their being, in all its complexity, its highs and lows, its crescendos and diminuendos. I extend my hand in compassion, my heart in understanding. So why then do I reduce myself to a single, discolored pixel? I don’t seem to be fair, and it’s not true…
For all my awareness, all my understanding of self-compassion, it can feel like trying to catch the wind sometimes. I see it moving the leaves, I feel it against my skin, but when I reach out… it slips through my fingers. It’s there, it’s real, but it’s not tangible, not holdable. And it’s frustrating, because I know it’s crucial, I know it’s necessary.
I have no problem offering kindness to others, wrapping them in words of comfort and understanding. Yet, when it comes to myself, it’s like I’ve hit a wall. I stand before it, armed with all the right tools, but still, I hesitate. My hand quivers, the words waver.
Why is it so difficult to extend to myself the same kindness I offer so freely to others? Is it because I fear complacency? Or am I just so used to the hard shell I’ve built around myself that any attempt to soften feels like an insult? It’s a strange, paradoxical dance, this journey of self-compassion. I know the steps, but my feet falter…
But I also know this – no change comes without struggle. No path is without its obstacles. And this is a path worth walking, however rocky it may be. So here I am, standing before that wall, ready to start chipping away. Not with anger or frustration, but with determination, patience, and resilience, one small piece at a time.
Because, at the end of the day, being kind to myself doesn’t mean I’m settling. It doesn’t mean I’m giving up. It means I’m giving myself space to breathe, to heal, to grow. It means acknowledging my humanity, my right to falter, to feel, to be. And that’s not just okay, it’s necessary.
So yes, the journey of self-compassion for me is not a walk in the park. But I am committed to keep trying, gently… to keep learning. Because I know that every step, every stumble, every fall, it’s all part of the process. And it’s a process worth undertaking, for myself, for my growth, for my peace. After all, we’re all deserving of our own kindness, aren’t we?
Beyond the Echo Chamber
(2022 © Julia Delaney)
The Last To Cast
(2021 © Julia Delaney)
Be Alive 🌱
Love ❤️, Julia
FROM MY HEART TO YOURS 💞
GUIDED MEDITATIONS 💗
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