The Problem…anxious black and white blur 568027 1 resized for web
I’ve always been the sort of person who likes everything sorted to the nth degree but over the last few years, after several traumatic events, that desire for order has transmuted into a knot of anxiety that often threatens to overwhelm me. It’s on disquieting days like these, when the weight of agitation and tension rise, that I feel most vulnerable, unable to think straight or work properly. I’m sure many can identify with these feelings and we each have our own way of coping until the feelings subside.

The Solution…
Have you noticed, though, that when near to the edge, surviving each day only by fixing the mask of capability firmly to your face whenever in public scrutiny, that it is often something very small that melts the hitherto immovable false facade we bear?

care caregiver deal 45842 1 resized for web

I know from past experience that at the hardest times of my life, when I am my own worst enemy, self-sabotaging my day with endless tasks and barricading the pain and difficulty inside - that it is kindness that floors me, bringing me to tears and to my knees.

The Gift…
The gift of kindness is such a simple, quiet and unassuming attribute yet has the power to break through the strongholds of our self-imposed walls of respectability and ineffective coping strategies. It can move us to floods of tears that break the dam we have vainly built to avoid our emotions from impacting our lives. 
That well- timed, heartfelt “Are you okay?” or simple offer of help from a sensitive person who has glimpsed the pain behind the mask of respectability, is often all it takes.


The Bible…
Galatians mentions kindness as one of the fruits of the spirit, and in Colossians, Paul implores us to clothe ourselves with kindness...

“Therefore, as God’s people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
I love this picture of us each putting these attributes on each morning, as items of clothing!

backlit black cross 161089 resized for webThe Cross…
I’m not sure, why, as a Christian, I allow anxiety to have such a hold on me. I think it’s about learning to let go; submitting to God, trusting Him for the outcome, knowing that He has our best interest at heart. I’m not good at letting go but when I do eventually come to the Cross -there is immense relief at not having to be responsible; great release in laying down the burden of anxiety alongside that mask of capability, and comfort at stopping the constant striving to achieve; passing the responsibility to the God who longs for me to come to Him each day like this. 
I wonder, as I write now what prevents me from doing this each day... simply, I think distraction by the worries of the world, a false notion and self-centred determination that “I have to do this...”, rather than leaning on my heavenly Father, and letting Him take the weight.

The Guilt…
Many of us, whilst embracing the notion of kindness to others are not good at being kind to ourselves...and I count myself in this! Perhaps we feel guilty at taking time for ourselves, thinking we are undeserving or think it more important to be kind to others. Yet, if we cannot learn to be kind to ourselves then, perhaps we cannot fully offer true kindness to others.

To live our days well, we need to take care of our well-being... feeding our physical and spiritual bodies, and taking time to strengthen ourselves through things that give us life…whether that be taking a walk, reading a book, having a luxurious bubble bath visiting a friend for coffee or simply snuggling up in bed for a really early night.

The Power…
hands shaped as a heartKindness is an overlooked super-power. Perhaps this month, we can each clothe ourselves with this unassuming, powerful spiritual gift, offering it both to ourselves and to others.

Like the age old saying, “in a world where you can be so many things, be kind...”     art beautiful bright 1697912 resized for web

Kindness changes us. It transforms the soul because it is gifted by God.

Join me! Try it... and see what happens.

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