Before the Kindness Challenge – To Reignite the Inner Light

Featured Image:  “Candle” © Walt Stoneburner (own work), Oct 2011. CC BY 2.0. (license)

In the current chaos of my life, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. My little raft is tossing about on some pretty turbulent and stormy waters, and sometimes it feels like all I can do is hold fast. At times, it even feels as though I’m already overboard, and I’m just clinging to the lines, choking on salt spray, and struggling to drag myself out of the waves. As my fingers tip-tap over the keys today, I am floating through a momentary calm. My emotions are steady, my breathing is easier, and my friends are close at heart. However, it’s hurricane season in my metaphorical ocean. I know that there will be more storms to weather before all the present uncertainty works itself out.

The challenges that I am confronting right now are difficult and triggering in an unfamiliar way. The last time I felt remotely similar, I was still at Walden undergoing partial hospitalization treatment for my eating disorder. As days become weeks and weeks coalesce into months, the emotional and psychological demands of the evolving circumstances become increasingly taxing. The acuity and extremity of the stress makes it hard for me to access and utilize the skills that I didn’t realize were becoming lax with disuse. Incorporating elements of mindfulness, dialectical thinking, CBT, and the other tools that I once practiced diligently into my daily life means that I don’t pay as much attention to the focused, attentive, and deliberate training that it required to build those habits. When I am in crisis, I can’t recall how I once managed distress tolerance. When my emotions are roiling out of control, I know that I am in desperate need of emotional regulation, but I don’t remember how to do it.

In addition to the pain that I experience on account of the uncertainty of life, there is the pain of my secondary emotions. I am upset about being upset, and I am frustrated that I am frustrated, and I am angry because I am angry. Such secondary emotions only deepen the darkness and tip me closer to despair. That is one reason why I am grateful for the first annual Kindness Challenge. It couldn’t be more appropriately timed. Just as I feel the light in me flickering unsteadily, here is a choice to pursue a different course. A course of kindness. A choice for life. I hope that, no matter what occurs over the next seven weeks, I can embrace this challenge and nurture that little flicker in my heart.

#RevofKindness #bekind

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.”

~ Colossians 3:12,14-15

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16 thoughts on “Before the Kindness Challenge – To Reignite the Inner Light

  1. Aw Lulu, I’m so glad that you are embarking on this journey. You are so open for this challenge, I hope that this reaches to the very depths of your heart and you get exactly what you need out of this. The platform I’m using is a blog challenge but my hope is that this penetrates your life in a profound way. Sending you lots of love and light!

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  2. Lulu, I’m so glad that you’re part of this. And I hope the coming weeks will allow you to make peace with yourself and be kinder not only to those around you but to yourself. So you can see the strength and perseverance that you have inside you. Peace and warmest wishes to you my friend. xo

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    1. Miriam, thank you! Inner peace seems to come and go for me, but I am hoping that with a more intentional focus on kindness, gentleness, patience, and self-compassion, it will truly grow. I wish the same to you, my friend! ❤

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      1. I think that’s the key Lulu, focus. Shifting the focus to what matters. Let’s make it a great month ahead, starting with being kind to ourselves! xo

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    1. Thank you, Laura! I read several different passages about kindness, but when I arrived at that one, I stopped searching. I think it’s a great meditation for my personal kindness project. Wishing you well!

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  3. I hear you.
    My life is in chaos and I am upset that I am not dealing with it with complete acceptance and zen.

    Which is crazy, as that would mean I am a zombie or an uncaring sociopath…. Lol

    I have no choice but to let it in and out and work my way though. I forget this, and then I remember again. I have enough support to help hold me up during the hard parts. That’s the secret.

    Hugs. Life is never simple.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hugs to you, Anne! Chaos seems like such an understatement considering what is reported on the news. I can’t imagine the confusion of feelings you must be experiencing and how they must change from one moment to the next! I laughed when I read that to be perfectly peaceful and zen in this moment would make you a zombie. You are so right! Whatever you are feeling and experiencing is entirely justified and completely valid! My home isn’t being threatened right now, but I think that it’s beneficial for me to remind myself that my emotions are valid, too. Once I acknowledge and accept them, then I can decide how I’m going to express or cope with them, but I still get to *feel* them. Glad that you are surrounded by your supports! You’re in my thoughts and prayers!

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