Mostly, I was raised to be nice. I'll admit I retained a certain amount of my feather-ruffling tendencies, but for the main part I got the message: be liked, be nice, be popular. So, I've spent a lot of energy in my life trying to modify my behaviors to be in line with this. Over the years, this desire to be nice gave way a little to a sincere desire to be kind, to benefit others, to be compassionate and generous in my output. As a parent, that's become especially important to me--to be kind to my child.
It's a new adventure to me to turn this idea towards myself. In contemplative traditions I've studied within, there is often a teaching that to be compassionate to others, we must be compassionate to ourselves. It takes a lot for me to remember that this compassion to myself is not only because it will help me be more compassionate to others. I am finally learning that I, myself, am worthy of my own kindness.
I'll say that again for myself: I am worthy of my own kindness.
I'll say it a little differently for you: You, dear person, are worthy of your own kindness.
I am writing this as I take a moment from rushing around to get us out of the house for the day. I just said to myself, "Slow down now, dear. You can breathe. You can drink your tea peacefully for a moment." I did. I said that to myself. Score one for kindness!
I invite you to build up the habit of remembering yourself in all the people you are "supposed" to be kind to. You matter. You're worth it. What kindness can you speak to yourself today?