Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Be Kind Despite Having an Illness

Being kind is a way of living that keeps giving long after the kind thoughts, words, and actions have taken place. Kindness is a force without force, and it goes well beyond manners to the very heart of how people respect and treat one another.
Being kind is a vital way of making our own lives, and the lives of others, meaningful. Being kind allows us to communicate better with others, to be more self-compassionate, and to be a positive force in other people's lives. Kindness has its true source deep within you, and while some people are innately kind, it's something that everyone can cultivate by choice.
Understand what kindness is and is not. At its most basic, kindness is about caring genuinely for others around you, wanting the best for them, and recognizing in them the same wants, needs, aspirations, and even fears that you have too. Kindness is warm, resilient, patient, trusting, loyal, and grateful. Sometimes when we are sick we may not show kindness in the usual way. Due to pain, suffering, lack of sleep and energy may all play a part.
Ultimately Kindness is deep caring for all beings.
Be kind to yourself. Many people make the error of trying to be kind to others while not focusing on being kind to themselves. Some of this can stem from not liking aspects of yourself, but more often than not, it's sourced in the inability to know yourself better. And unfortunately, when you don't feel rock solid within yourself, your kindness to others risks falling into the deluded types of kindness it can lead to burn-out and because you've put everyone else first. Self-knowledge allows you to see what causes you pain and conflict, and enables you to embrace your contradictions and inconsistencies. Take time to become more self aware and use this learning to be kinder to both yourself (remembering that we all have weaknesses) and to others. In this way, your inner angst is being dealt with rather than fueling your need to project the hurt and pain.
o Avoid viewing time taken to become more aware of your own needs and limits as an act of selfishness; far from it, it is a vital pre-condition to being able to reach out to other people with great strength and awareness.
o Ask yourself what you think it means to be kinder to yourself. For many people, being kinder to themselves includes monitoring the negative chatter that involves putting yourself down and stopping your negative thinking.
o If you have a tendency toward perfectionism, competitiveness, or a driven sense of urgency, self-kindness can often be a victim of your ambition and fast pace, as well as your fear of being seen to be lazy or selfish. Remember to slow down and to forgive yourself when things don't work out as wished.
o When I think of any of the Porphyrias, when were in an attack~”TO DO LIST” we wish to get things done and they race over and over in our minds. We simply have to let it go and think about getting well~ even though we always want to do the work ourselves and try to put the pain aside.
o Learn from your mistakes rather than beating yourself up over them, or comparing yourself to others. It is through self-compassionate responses that you can start to see other people's needs in a compassionate light.
Be present: Family, Friend’s and Caregivers and Medical Doctors and Nurses: The greatest gift of kindness to another person is to be in the moment in their presence, to be listening with care, and to be genuinely attentive to them.
o Be a good listener. Often said, yet the act of listening is easier said than done in our fast-paced world, where rushing and being busy are seen as virtues; where cutting someone off because you're too busy, or you need to get somewhere in a hurry, is the norm. Making being busy into a habit is no excuse for unkindness, however. When talking to someone, learn to listen with your whole being and sincerely pay attention to them until they're done revealing their thoughts and story.
o Schedule your day differently, so that you're not known as the person who always rushes off. Being present means being available; you can only do this if you're not rushing or squeezing in people and activities.
o Take time to connect with people face-to-face, or via an uninterrupted phone call. Send a letter instead of an email and surprise someone with the kindness of your having taken time out of your day to put pen to paper. How nice it is to see us encourage each other with Facebook send caring thoughts to each other to get better and stay well and most of us have never met each other in person! Because we took the time to listen.
2. Be happy, joyful, and grateful. And keeping your sense of humor ensures that you don't take yourself too seriously and take life's contradictory and contrary moments with good faith.
Reflect on the kindness of other people. Think about the truly kind people in your life and how they make you feel. Do you carry their warm glow around in your heart every time you think of them? It is likely that you do because kindness lingers, warming you even when the hardest challenges face you. When other people find a way to love you for who you are, it's impossible to forget such trust and confirmation of worthiness, and their kindness lives on forever. So ask yourself what was the last kind thing someone did for you? How did it make
Cultivate kindness for the good of your own health. Improved Health and happiness comes from thinking more positively, and kindness is a positive mental state. While kindness is about giving and being open to others, giving kindness returns a sense of well-being and connectedness to us that improves our own mental state and health. This is just part 1 of a series to be Happy Healthy show Kindness to everyone! Pass it on!
By Amy Chapman AIP Patient

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