Conversations On Being Kind From Your Heart

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There is such simplicity in saying be kind, and at the same time, deep down in my heart, there are days where I feel as if I wasn’t as kind as I could be, or that I could have done something this or that way. Perhaps that’s just the empathetic side of me that feels this way. Last year I wrote a post about speaking from the heart because I find that it doesn’t happen the way it used to. There is an effect that technology has where we have the ability to talk online, which may cause us to be less emotional. When we talk in person, being raw is sometimes perceived as a weakness when it shouldn’t be.

Kindness is not those who do it to gain something, those who do it for attention or those who want to be perceived a certain way. True kindness is one that could be completely invisible to the eye but felt by others. It’s important to note that true kindness is ultimately loving yourself. It’s funny how sometimes we’re much kinder and far less judgmental towards others, but when it comes to ourselves, we can sometimes be harsh critics. It makes me think to when I had depression quite badly, there were thoughts that were so terrible and awful, that I’d never say to anyone else, but I said it to myself.

Being kind from your heart means seeing a person for their character and actions, rather than appearances. It means seeing a person on the street with a sad face, and picturing giving them a big warm hug (does anyone else do this as well!). Taking the time to listen to a friend and be there for them. Sometimes kindness is being very honest, which can make us feel unkind. However, it’s far better to be honest to a close one if you think they’re doing something wrong. It means you care for them and want the best for them. Kindness from your heart could be spending the time to cook a meal for a loved one.

It’s the ability to be tolerant and understanding, without judgment towards someone. It’s the time taken to help someone, not for any rewards, but simply because it gives a sense of connection. Helping and having compassion is something that encourages others and ourselves to do more of.  It’s the ability to truly understand that every person is different and that we can’t change people. Sometimes it means knowing when to say yes and no. This one is important. Honesty has a strong tie with kindness because the truth will always reveal itself.

Actions speak louder than words. Think of Pride & Prejudice, and the way Elizabeth felt Darcy was incredibly arrogant and full of pride when really he was simply shy and reserved with his words. However, his actions showed that he was loving, caring and kind. We are all capable of spreading a light in our lives. You know that feeling of catching a smile from the distance, and feeling positive energy run through your body. No one can be happy all the time, but when we’re kind to other’s, we can spread that light and form a silent connection. Kindness is an invisible way of healing and gives a feeling of warmth and love.

Photography by Milton H. Greene 

What Is In Your Heart Will Eventually Show

b0cf090eb3590b5ff3fbad58be448df6.jpgThe moments we show our true colours is when the layers are peeled back. No one, not anybody, can be truly defined by their job, their appearances, how much money they earn, what education they have, what car they have, what clothes they wear, what house they live in, how many friends they have or what photos they’ve taken. External definitions do not bring long term happiness. The true happiness that we feel are the moments we act with kindness and love, lend a helping hand or spend time with loved ones. It’s the kind that we feel in our heart. I recently listened to a video here, where he reminds us to be a selfless and loving person even in the heat of the moment.

We may have times where we’ve compared with someone else, and automatically it can bring ourselves down. No one can be happy by comparing themselves or pretending to be someone else. The video mentions about taking off the mask. This is something that really spoke to me because I believe so deeply in being true to yourself. At the same time, as an INFJ, I tend to be very private and not show many people the true me completely. As much as I value being oneself, there is that slight contradiction where I do strive to be myself, but at the same time, not everyone will see me for me at a glance. But perhaps only over time, if not years!

As much as I love writing about fashion, art, film and books, the one thing I feel most important to write about are topics like this. They are messages we need a reminder of. The way we value life shouldn’t be of materials or from the way things look. Everyone is capable of kindness and improving themselves. The kindness that’s important, is doing things even when not a soul will see it. We often judge things from the way they look. People may judge a person the way we judge a painting or a book cover at a glance. Things are most often not what they seem to appear. Imagine the way the water looks on the surface, with its dark blue peaceful ripples, and picture a beautiful magical ancient ruin beneath. There’s a story hidden inside that we don’t see at first.

The title reads What Is In Your Heart Will Eventually Show from how much beauty, we may or may not see in someone the more we become closer. What is in our heart shows through our actions. When people start to open up to each other, there’s a part of them that’s unlocked. Their personality and a certain rawness start showing more and more. A beautiful person is seen from their heart, where over time it opens like a sleeping rose. In 1 Peter 3-4 reads: Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 

Art by Jiwoon Pak

We Need Empathy And Sensitivity In The World

eWe care more about ourselves. I say this very lightly, because of course we care about those we love. We would never want to see them get hurt. Yet, in this world, it is easy to forget to be sensitive, kind and understanding. It’s easy to forget to be empathetic, caring and loving. It’s easier to make assumptions, avoid the situation and carry on with our own lives because it didn’t affect us. An example would be depression. There is a huge misunderstanding with mental illnesses. A huge stigma attached towards it, that makes me wonder if people will open their eyes and open their heart to people who need it most.

What is Empathy?

The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Not sympathy. Sympathy is having pity and sorrow of one’s misfortune. Empathy is having a close friend or family member going through depression. Empathy is knowing someone who committed suicide. Empathy is sharing the feeling of a character within a book and understanding how they might of felt. A lot of times it’s experiences that only when someone we love so dearly is affected, that we can understand the pain they may of been through. Often times it may also be until we have experienced it ourselves, we can realise how it feels. But, having empathy, when neither has occurred and we have not experienced it, is also an act of love. There is no reason to judge.

What is Sensitivity?

Having or displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others’ feelings

Do you ever wonder what someone may of been through to have anxiety or be extremely sensitive? Most people don’t. However, the ability to be sensitive is the ability to feel. To accept your emotions and understand other people’s emotions. Sensitivity creates a powerful caring nature, creativity and being in touch with yourself and the world around you. It allows one to cherish their inner self.

When you grow older, you truly realise that maturity is not an age. There are adults who often misunderstand, make poor judgments and spread wrong words. Then there may be a child who has wisdom. They may of suffered through a lot or were taught wisely. The amount of times I felt completely out of place. The amount of times I have had suicidal thoughts running in my mind. Believe me, I’ve been there. The amount of times I just wanted to be understood and have empathy from someone. Anyone.

Sensitivity and empathy are not weaknesses. No. They are what we need more of in this world. Especially with what is happening in our world, where bad things are becoming to numb us because we hear of it so often. We cannot turn a blind eye, but we must raise our ability to be sensitive. To open our hearts and realise that a lot of people are hurting inside. I’ve always felt incredibly misunderstood by people I hardly know, because people are quick to make judgments on who I am. We’re only human. Everyone has emotions. All I know is that if I’m to be an adult, I want to be the one that can be honest about my feelings and do my best to be a sensitive and empathetic person.

The Power Of True Kindness

Cinderella-There are 3 ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” Fred Rogers. 

Our society focuses more on the bad rather than the good. We hear bad news more so in the media. We hear gossip, deaths and crises around the world, but we hear less about acts of kindness, love and comfort. The digital world often feeds off others fears and weaknesses in order to make money. However, even in everyday life, many of us often focus on more of the negative. Bad memories tend to stick more in our minds. Many of us may choose to leave them behind, or other’s may have something that triggers them. It’s a gentle reminder that there is good news everyday that can turn our frown into a smile.

True kindness has no expectations. There is a huge difference between kindness for the sake of it or kindness from the heart. Someone can act kind, but not truly mean it. They may expect something from it or want to be treated a certain way. True Kindness is honest, compassionate and forgiving. It does not judge but wants to love. It is treating others how you would want to be treated. Human kindness can often be very superficial. You can feel the difference, just as most of us may be able to recognise a fake laugh and a real one.

Kindness is loving yourself first and foremost, before anyone else. In order to treat others with love we must first accept ourselves. Especially in this generation, many of us only care for the way things look, rather than how they are. But, a lot of the kindness that happens each day may very well be the ones we don’t see. Because in the end true kindness is not an act for recognition.

It could be someone who you know may never be able to repay you, it could be helping someone even when they didn’t ask or praying for someone, even though they don’t know you. True kindness shows the true face of someone. It shows their heart. It’s the ones who doesn’t leave others out, doesn’t hold any judgment and genuinely cares for others. In kindness, actions speak louder than words. It creates a ripple effect and an energy of positivity.

I previously talked how many people take advantage of people who are kind here. As an introvert, there are also myths about introverts being rude, because of not participating in something or turning down a social event. Introverts show kindness in a quiet way (from my experience). Remember to surround yourselves with people who will love you the same and treat you the same without expecting anything in return.

Daily Thoughts:When We Feel Very Deeply

14c471f5ab5eed3842dfd1428989e25aThere are days where I ask myself, if this was the last day I could ever have, is there anything I would of changed? Each day we live can be filled with the good or the bad. Maybe I shouldn’t of said that, maybe I should of done, maybe I will do that next time. Everyday we grow, we learn and we change. Everyone experiences downtime and wonderful days. It’s what makes us human. As someone who thinks very deeply, I can be somewhat of an over analyser and sensitive to my surroundings.

Our society places such a huge stigma on mental illnesses and emotions. As someone who has seen my loved ones and those close to me go through a mental illness, it breaks my heart that this world can often be so very insensitive, unkind and ignorant of this. The saddest part according to mindhealthconnect.org.au is that Mental illness can attract stigma and discrimination, which can be one of the biggest problems for someone with these disorders. About ten percent of people with mental illness eventually die by suicide, as compared with one percent of the general population. What ever it may be – anorexia, depression, anxiety, bulimia – qld.gov.au says Part of the reason for negative attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental illness is a lack of knowledge and a fear of the unknown. However, it is also something very common, that a significant amount of people will experience in their lifetime.

People deserve help, support, care and love. No one should be pre-judged for having something that we cannot fully understand. Raising the level of sensitivity is important. It’s no surprise (to myself that is) that I spend a huge majority of time alone. As an introvert, I appreciate the time I can spend to think deeply, creatively and freely without any disturbances. I love the peace and quiet when reading, watching a movie or eating a meal. As I mentioned the stigma in mental illnesses, I also believe there is a stigma placed in showing any signs of deeper emotion. Most of us show the everyday “How are you” face. The one where we seem fine even if we aren’t. We don’t want to bother others with anything that may seem negative, and most of us want to be accepted or seen as a happy person.

In the adult world of emotions, it’s a different story. When we were a young child running around in the yard or jumping on the trampoline, if we fell over, our parents would be there to comfort us if we cried. In that moment we were in pain but we forget it quickly. As we grow older there are different ways we fall emotionally or we may face failure that we cope in different ways to when we were a child. We make decisions based on our self belief. Even if something upsets us, most adults will consider a strategy to solve something or a goal to achieve. In psychcentral.com Deep Feelers also tend to be imaginative and sensitive, which colors the storylines they create…Deep Feelers also might be highly sensitive people. Highly sensitive people are especially susceptible to physical and emotional stimuli.

The things I find that occurs if you are a highly sensitive person, is the need to cry out your emotion. Bottling it up can cause a panic attack in situations you will least want to be in. When alone, it’s relieving to let out the pain. I don’t know if you are the same too (HSP), but the creative arts is where I feel at home with. I have to listen to music for a few hours, read several articles, write words or watch a touching movie. HSP are also highly likely to be empathetic and understanding of what other’s are going through. The one that I have mentioned previously, is HSP are deep thinkers. Their minds are highly active, but the words spoken are often limited and chosen carefully. The think before you speak is very true. The need to help is also part of the characteristics of someone who is highly sensitive.

“I write because there are things in me that cannot die.”
― Sanober Khan

Why Being Nice Is Not Always So Nice

snowhite.pngI believe in kindness. That is, I believe the only way to live an enriched life filled with gratitude, faith and love is to fill it with kindness. There can only be benefits in living with kindness, but then again (as I write this article) there have been moments where I felt hurt by others who do not return kindness. Being kind is to be humble, modest and honest. Nice, however is something different in it’s entirety. The recipe for kindness needs a balance with being nice and assertive. Unfortunately, there are many people who are mean, and will take advantage of people who are nice. Kindness is never ever wrong.

1) People take advantage of you. This one I cannot stress enough. As I grow older, I notice the signs almost immediately and learn to distant myself from the person. Be aware of people who only talk to you to benefit themselves. Sadly, when I was younger or at University, I had been taken advantage countless times for helping others. Whether it was with their homework, where in the end they simply want all the answers. Or, often people will ask you for favours, constantly when they think you won’t say no. The thing is nice people – well – we do say no when we want to, but most of the time we are just so willing to help without expecting the favour to be returned.

2) It can be hard to make friends. This is sort of a personal one. I find it harder to trust people quickly when I make friends. Whether it is having the feeling that someone may take advantage of you, ask for a lot or expect you to always be nice. The truth is there will always be manipulative people in the world. People who are unkind, mean, judgmental and unhappy. They want to bring your positive vibe down, where as all they need is an uplift. If you ever find a hidden gem that is genuine, kind and cares for you – they’re a keeper!

3)Being called weak and innocent. It’s funny how much this is also compared with being shy, introverted or quiet. Kindness is actually a strength. People who take advantage of kind people, is because they may feel insecure. When someone agrees to help, they feel as if they have won, they feel more powerful. However, most of the time kind people are so willing to help, they look at the more important things, which is to lift a person up. Not to benefit themselves. Innocence – well that may come from the fact that we don’t talk about terrible or negative things a lot. If I were to tell you all the things I have been through in my life, then your perspective of me would be different – naturally.

4) Acting different around you. Being kind can either make some people wonder “Why did they do this or that?” or they feel as if they need to be more polite around you. Ah – I so wish that that wouldn’t be the case. Random acts of kindness are there to be a spark of happiness and bring a smile to others. There is nothing expected in return. In many cases, I find many people talk differently to me. It’s a very different side that feels more real, but as soon as they talk to others, it is back to this conforming way of speaking. I really wish it wouldn’t be like that.

5) Not everyone is empathetic. Being a kind person, can often mean you understand people’s emotion in a way that unkind people cannot. If someone cries, if someone rages, if someone does something out of the ordinary, you take it out of the box, and think what they could be going through. A lot of the time in society we can be very surfaced level, instantaneously judgmental or make quick assumptions. Remember there is much more that meets to the eyes. Often, there is a lot more that goes behind the scenes to what we can fully understand.

The thing is being kind makes me feel happy, and as I’m sure makes many people happy. No matter where you walk there will always be people who are negative, mean, having a terrible day, use others for their own advantage and the list goes on. The main thing is to stay true to yourself. Don’t surround yourselves with people like that, and spread kindness. It’s contagious! Being hurt can often give us the biggest lessons of all. Wisdom and Understanding.

“One who is kind is sympathetic and gentle with others. He is considerate of others’ feelings and courteous in his behavior. He has a helpful nature. Kindness pardons others’ weaknesses and faults. Kindness is extended to all — to the aged and the young, to animals, to those low of station as well as the high.” -Ezra Taft Benson

Happiness

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What is happiness? Happiness is not a thing, but a feeling from our heart. When I read my daily devotion yesterday morning, it really opened up my eyes about what is really true happiness. In the bible it says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith” (Galatians 5:22). What a beautiful verse. We often forget how deeply and wonderfully loved we are. We search for personal satisfaction in our lives through things, but the truest happiness is through God’s love.

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When we aren’t happy in our lives, it is for one reason: We are ignoring the Word of God. Our happiness as people is not dependent on our situation or other people. Happiness is Joyfulness, which God wants to radiate upon us. Our happiness and joy is like fire. Burning energy. When there is no energy, it runs out. Similarly when we ignore God’s word, our joy is short lived.

Very often we are happy based upon our situation, such as when things are going smoothly during the day. That’s always great, because I know I feel happy when I can tick off all the things on my to-do list. However, our happiness should not be dependent on the good things happening to us. This may sound strange because it’s always a great feeling when good things happen, but happiness is not a thing. Otherwise, those who have the best cars, best houses, best careers and have the best things will be the happiest in the world. I stared out of the window yesterday and there was a beautiful rainbow of God’s glory. It really reminded me how after a storm there will always be sunshine.

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In the case of the 21st century, our society is faulted in two extreme ways. People are often quick to judge on appearance, words and actions, but when people are dying or suffering, there is a dramatic and tragic atmosphere. An obvious example, is famous people. Happiness cannot be equated with money, fame, attention and most of all, things. It’s easy to get caught up in a materialistic society, and believe that buying something will make us happy. On a more dramatic note people suicide everyday, and very often people will ask the questions “What was going wrong? He seemed fine, his family are great, he has a great career, he had enough money to make a good living. Why did he kill himself?” God wants us to know that happiness doesn’t come from these things.

True happiness and joy is produced within us. It is produced within our hearts from the Word and Spirit of God. We have the choice to live our lives happily. It is a decision made by ourselves and should not be affected by anyone. People will often tell us what we need to change or how to do something. Remember that there will always be people who want us to change, people who are difficult and unpleasant, but it’s important to remind yourself that you are not like that. Stay true to who you are, and be as loving as you can to others.

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Your happiness is your responsibility. There will be times in your lives where you will feel terribly down, and don’t know how to pick yourself up. Remember to listen to God and know he is right there with you. Know that you can become stronger through the tough times and appreciate life more, through the smallest moments. Be grateful. Be generous. Be kind. Be loving. Remember happiness is a choice not a destination. Choose to be happy. :)

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