I recently re-dedicated myself to the pursuit of Kindness in my everyday life. What I’ve discovered is that I prefer solitude a great deal of the time. Solitude I allows me the opportunity to meditate and reflect upon things. Before, when I had too many distractions, I wasn’t able to think carefully before I reacted or spoke.
That constant knee-jerk, involuntary reaction made me angry and miserable without even thinking about it. I was always trying to stay ahead of things, always trying to be a smart ass because I thought that would make me popular and happy.
Instead, I was miserable. I was defensive toward everybody because I figured that
I must have offended them in some way, either accidentally or intentionally. I was afraid that I was failing. At least that last statement was true. I was failing as a person. I had to find a way to change my life.
I read about people who embraced Kindness and made it a guiding principle in their lives. I decided to try it.
At first, I felt so wonderful, but that feeling didn’t last for long. I slid back into my old ways, and the old feelings returned very quickly. I despaired about ever feeling better.
Finally, I read an article that strongly emphasized that just saying I was embracing Kindness would never be enough unless I made other important and difficult changes to my life as well.
I had to stop hanging around, and listening to the people I had known for years. Consciously or not, they were keeping me a prisoner of my feelings that didn’t revolve around Kindness. I had a tough time accepting this truth.
As I broke away from those people, the first thing I noticed was that they didn’t seem to care at all about my creating distance between us. I realized that they were just as unhappy as I had been, and that our negativity just reinforced each other.
There were a few harsh words exchanged, but I knew in my heart that I was doing the right thing. I tried explaining my motives, but those explanations fell on deaf ears.
As I walked away from the familiar, I had more time to myself. Hal is still with me, but he has his own hobbies and interests. I began to feel annoyed when the tv was on. Even though I tried to watch the “news”, I soon started calling it “infoporn” because there was really nothing of value to it. My desire for quiet and solitude grew. I turned the tv off for basically the entire day.
I gave myself time to rest, relax, think, and meditate. When I ventured to social media (Mastodon and Counter Social) I no longer felt the desire to insert snarky comments everywhere. In fact, I am more likely to simply ignore or block people who upset me. They are only as important as I let them be.
The choices were difficult at first. Until I put my own Happiness and interest first, I was too afraid of hurting others without realizing that they wouldn’t care. I am at peace with my decisions now.