A Kind of Kindness

Writing again feels so good. I’ve been navigating a swept-away season since the birth of our LO 3 years ago. Stretch-and-grow moments have been plentiful since then. Time for capturing those moments here? Not so much.

But, seasons change and mine is evolving again. So, onward we go. And, I’ll start with a lesson that still requires lots of practice:

While this idea is pretty universal, it’s especially for my fellow people-pleasers. We’re often described as “thoughtful” and “kind.” But, extending kindness to ourselves with zero guilt? Well, that can be a pretty tall order for us.

I struggle with this often. A prime example: When to schedule a long overdue medical procedure. My body tells me almost daily to be kinder to myself. Sometimes it’s a whisper; other times, a shout.

I know I’ll feel better once it’s done. But, I’m stuck on how to fit a procedure + recovery into my work sked and a multilayered calendar. (Fact: When moms are out of commission, a lot can happen in several days. IJS.) Balancing What’s good for everyone else? and How soon can I feel better? feels like herding cats … pretty impossible.

See, we people-pleasers hate being an inconvenience, especially to those closest to us. We usually adjust for others’ comfort. We often sacrifice our own needs to ensure theirs are met first. In our hearts and minds, not putting others first feels strange, wrong, unloving.

And unkind.

It’s how some of us end up delaying a medical procedure for 3 years.

So, I get it – even as I’m still working on living the lesson: Self-kindness requires mindful courage rooted in honoring my own worth. Making tiny and not-so-tiny decisions based on what I need isn’t selfish. And being kind to ourselves is one of the greatest kindnesses, indeed.

10 thoughts on “A Kind of Kindness

  1. Karin

    Dear Karin- I was thinking of you the past couple of weeks. Then this came. Hopefully you are taking care of your medical procedure and providing a generous buffer to yourself to rest and recover. Because if you are not well, you won’t be able to please others as well ;). No seriously- give yourself that time and space! Please!

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    1. stretch&grow Post author

      Karin, my friend! Always, always so good hearing from you! I pray you and your family are well. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I promise that I’m on top of the health matter (finally!) and moving forward positively. Hugs always to you! 🙂

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  2. Toya Hunt

    Thank you for this post, I can truly relate! I have a very hard time extending kindness to myself without zero guilt but I am trying to do better. #Selfkindness2021

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    1. stretch&grow Post author

      Hi Toya, how wonderful it is to “hear” your voice! 🙂 We pray you are all well. And, I recall our chats about this topic, for sure, and how it’s been common ground for us both. I’m with you on #Selfkindness2021 (& beyond)! Sending my mama fist bumps and hugs to you, xo

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  3. Kyle

    “Extending kindness to yourself with zero guilt.” Now that is an interesting perspective. I tend to extend kindness, grace, and extreme understanding to others. While I can be impatient and neglectful to myself at times. Simple things as preparing a healthier meal for others while forgetting to eat myself. Or telling myself it will be okay you put forth your best effort. That statement stood out to me and I’m going to make a better effort at extending kindness to me with zero guilt this week. I’m going to start with scheduling a well overdue annual wellness visit this week. Thanks for returning to your blog.

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  4. Tori Reid

    Yes, fellow people pleaser. YES! I always appreciate your truth and transparency, and openness to share with us. So, I’m truly glad you’re writing again… for yourself and us readers. This, too, has been one of my greatest lifelong challenges – “adjusting for others comfort” or “feeling strange, wrong and unloving not putting others first”. It is a process. And we will be victorious. We already are… 🙂 xo

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