We have all heard the expression “kindhearted” to describe a person who is genuinely kind in their words, actions and interactions. To be honest, I’m not sure I have ever been described as kind or kindhearted. I think the words that people use to describe me are nice, sweet, sad, melancholy, busy, shy, but I don’t believe I have ever been described as kindhearted. Not to say that I’m never kind and that I never perform kind acts, but I want more. Besides, performing kind acts is not what I want either, I want to Be kind. I want so much kindness in me, that it tumbles out and it exudes from me.
Yesterday, I came across a quote in Invisible Warfare, a book, by Mona Miller. It reads; “Blocked hurt and fear keep our hearts from being open!” I think that says so much. I did change it slightly and replaced open with kind, so for me, I read it as “Blocked hurt and fear keep our hearts from being kind.” I think I have had so much unprocessed fear and anger over the last several years, that there was no room for kindness. Kindness cannot live in pain, hurt, anger and fear. Kindness must grow from a place of love, patience, understanding and truth. So where did all this pain, fear and resentment stem from?
5 years ago, my husband crashed his motorcycle and ended up in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma, followed by extended hospital stays, rehab, transitional living center and out-patient care for several months. We were considered one of the lucky families! My kids were 4 and 6 at the time. You can imagine how difficult my life was, in a single moment, I became a caregiver, medical advocate and financial planner all the while still balancing motherhood and day-to-day life. I had an amazing support group, friends and community that rose to help. It was, however, devastating, difficult and painful. The first few weeks were like a roller coaster, full of ups and downs and just hoping he would actually survive. The next several weeks, months and years were full of fear and anxiety of who my husband now would become. Once we reached the 6 month mark, it was like he went into a personality closet and tried on a new personality every 6 weeks. This was crazy making, at least for me it was. I no longer had my original partner, my kids did not have the dad they knew. Instead we had some strange version of him that was constantly changing. No wonder I was scared, anxious, angry and resentful.
He was quick to become overwhelmed and then lash out. Soon we began a dance of me tip-toeing around his moods and needs. I very quickly became codependent and embraced it fully! This was the perfect storm. He would have what is called a “brain injury moment” and I would make excuses and try to calm him down. Apparently I was supposed to stay centered, calm and remind him with kindness that he was having a brain injury moment. I must have blocked that out during the family training I received! As if I could take anything in and process it, I was surviving! To be honest his brain injury moments scared me and triggered me. So I fell right into being a codependent. Kindness was not to be had by me, not while I lived in fear, anxiety, anger and resentment. Although I craved kindness, I did not have the ability to create in my life.
If blocked hurt and fear keep our hearts from being open and thus kind, the opposite is needed to exude kindness. My recipe for being kindhearted is to own, process and understand the fear and hurt, so that I may move to a place of understanding and be open to love and kindness. My hope is that one day soon, I will embody kindness and finally be described as KINDHEARTED!!!!
Thank you for reading. Please share your thoughts.