Kindness: A Balm to the Soul

It’s remarkable how complacent we become in our day-to-day routines until something upsets the rhythm and we are left scrambling to find our footing. In the constant juggle of everyday life, we often fail to appreciate the little things. When our world goes awry, we’re caught off guard – unbalanced – and crave a state of equilibrium. How petty we seem until we look at all the little details in the big picture.

This week, I’m once again, grateful for friends – the ones who reach down when we are at our stubborn worst and find us the help we need, the ones who step in and provide the help we need when we are adamant that we. are. fine. These are the friends to hang on to. The friends to cling to tightly.

One of my strongest “love languages” in action is acts of service – as in this is how I communicate I care… but I’ve also learned when I’m drowning, I will stubbornly tread water instead of reaching for the life lines that are thrown my way. Why do “helpers” always find it so hard to accept help? I appreciate the ones who will jump into the water with me and hold my head above water. They are priceless.

This week, I’m once again, grateful for health that I often take for granted. I’m thankful for a warm, soft bed; a house over my head – mess and all. I’m appreciative of my kids and their little quirks (even when my thirteen year old texts me while I’m in an ER hooked up to an IV and awaiting chest x-rays asking if I will be getting a new phone so he can have my old phone after I leave the hospital – even then I am grateful.) I am recognizant of my blessings as small as they may seem (clean socks this morning even though I haven’t tackled the laundry all week…) or when they seem overwhelmingly all-encompassing (a freezer full of meals that were prepared by hands that weren’t my own!)

The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.

William Wordsworth

I’m reminded once again that it’s okay to ask for help, to grasp that help when it’s freely offered. I’ve been humbled enough to see that it’s okay to let go of something for a short time to tightly hold onto the things that matter. I’m learning that in our weakness, we find strength; at our frailest, we find our foundations; in our humility, we see what’s truly meaningful.

The journey of life can be hard. One day it can be a perfect path for ambling along without a care beyond getting a sunburn and then you round a bend and hit a roadblock, in the rain, and you don’t have a coat. It’s full of smooth, straight paths in one moment and abounding with steep cliffs and rubble the next. Cling to hope. Know where your anchor lies. Bring companions on the trail. If you shed some tears along the way – so be it; laughter can be a lifeline; but kindness? Kindness, of course, is a balm to the soul.

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