A Kind of Conclusion – The Seventh Week of the Kindness Challenge

Featured Image:  “seeds,” © Yamanaka Tamaki (own work), July 2009. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. (license)

Four months later, I am finally writing my reflection on the seventh and final week of the Kindness Challenge. I am calling it my “kind of” conclusion, because my aim is to continue the daily challenge of being as kind, loving, and forgiving as I possibly can be… and accepting that I will encounter times when I both succeed and fall short.

When I began the challenge, I was frayed, distracted, and feeling dashed on the rocks of the stormy sea of life. I was longing for shelter from the pounding waves, and the challenge provided structure, short-term goals, and a wholehearted purpose at a time when wholeheartedness seemed distant and impossible. Participating in the challenge reminded me that in order to share love with others, I first needed to treat myself with gentleness and self-compassion. How could I expect myself to meet others “wherever they were,” giving them the benefit of the doubt, and acting kindly regardless of how they might treat me or respond, if I could not approach myself in the same manner, understanding myself as an imperfect person trying my best?

During the challenge, I was invited deeper into mindfulness and into the connections between all of us here in this living, breathing world. I was frequently confronted with the greatest commandments:  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength,” and, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30 and 31)

It seems that breaking out of my inward focus and my self-protective shell and loving God in the guise of my neighbor, brazenly and fearlessly, with my whole heart, will always be one of the most difficult things I do. Where love is, then pain, disappointment, and rejection inevitably follow. Not always, but sometimes. This loving is a risky business. Yet, I know that it is possible, and through this challenge, I am encouraged to continue working on it each day.

Many thanks to Niki for hosting the Kindness Challenge. For those of you who aren’t familiar with her blog, I highly encourage you to go check it out, here. She is constantly updating with new content, and it is never too late to participate in the challenge!

kindnesschallenge

#RevofKindness #bekind

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “A Kind of Conclusion – The Seventh Week of the Kindness Challenge

  1. Thank you so much for participating Lulu. It has been so wonderful to connect with you and watch you grow through this challenge. It has been such an amazing journey. I love the way you took it to heart, applied each week’s challenge in earnest, and really sought to apply it to your life. Mindfulness is such a great practice that goes hand in hand with this challenge, couple that with gratitude, and self-compassion and what an amazing recipe for self-acceptance. I look forward to seeing what the journey has in store for you. You’re such a compassionate, thoughtful, and kindhearted person. It’s been my pleasure to get to know you better ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for hosting this challenge, Niki. It became more of a process of self-discovery than I expected. I’m trying to take in your amazing compliment without automatically disqualifying your kind words with my usual self-talk, such as, “Well, if she *really* knew me…” I *can* be compassionate, thoughtful, and kindhearted, and the exercises of the challenge are good practice to bring more of those qualities into how I live moment-to-moment. I am wishing you well in your ongoing endeavors to bring more authenticity and love to the world, bit by bit.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s