Being Kind to Yourself

When you are kind to yourself, you become a better person. How can this be so? Doesn’t almost everyone tell you that if you do something you like, or take time for yourself, or say “No” to someone else’s demands that you are being selfish? Being selfish is considered bad and unkind to others, right?

The difference is that being kind to yourself is being selfish, but selfish with wisdom. When you are kind to yourself, you think things through first. You don’t let yourself get conned into doing something bad just because others are doing it: you reason things out first with yourself in mind. My friends are going to someone’s car and joy-ride it and they want me to do it with them, Why not? After all, I’m feeling bad and lonely and sad, and doing something daring (or dangerous or “special” with my friends ought to make me feel better, right?

If you are not paying kind attention to yourself, you might think, “Sure, why not? The adults (or rich people or the people who live in the classy neighborhoods or someone I just don’t like right now) haven’t giving me what I want, so sure, it’s right that I should take it from them. It would make me feel better now, so, sure, I’ll do it.”

The trouble is, that is not being kind to yourself at all. Because you decide to do something to hurt someone else, you are setting yourself up for shame at least and harm at worst. To do something just because others are doing it means that you are not being kind to yourself: you haven’t listened to you! You haven’t listened to yourself long enough to know that you are hurting, that you do feel lonely and unhappy. If you had been kind to yourself and listened, you would deal with the sadness and loneliness first, instead of doing something stupid right now.

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