Kindness Is Strength

Peace.

I can remember specific moments from my childhood where in response to negative situations I made mental notes of the things I would and would not do if ever I found myself even remotely involved in similar circumstances. Being subject to the toxic relationship between my parents forced me to process some heavy things at an early age. One of them being how could I practice loving and understanding others in a way that brings out the best in them? I had already grown tired of the worst. I found myself seeking to soothe the demons in others despite the hell I was internally going through myself. Witnessing over and over and over someone choose to destroy the goodness around and within them made me sick. So I chose kindness as my weapon.  Or rather kindness chose me.

You know when people talk about others taking their kindness for weakness I feel that. And I used to sit and dwell on the idea that maybe I exhibited weakness for wanting to respond with love to the best of my ability when dealing with others. But as I continue through life I understand that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is so much patience required with kindness. There is humbleness and willingness to grow required in kindness. And none of these things are for the weak. Especially considering we exist in a place where it is so easy and acceptable to place our own selfish desires and needs in front of others even if the means come at the expense of another’s well being. To rage when you’ve felt wronged or to get your way is so easy. To not have the time nor desire to understand someone else’s perspective is lazy. Neither requires much effort or thought. But kindness is intentional as it causes you to stop, reflect and then respond. In my eyes, that is powerful as it allows you to be aware of exactly what it is that you are doing.

What I am currently coming to know is that I too deserve the kindness that I so easily issue to others. When I say that kindness chose me I reflect on the many times I had been pushed into silence in response to the volatile situations flung upon me as a child. Spiritually disengaging and making it up in my mind to respond in ways that I thought best could diffuse certain situations. As these patterns developed throughout life this of course spilled into my relationships with others i.e. habits of codependency, .allowing myself to be used and practicing the act of selflessness to the point where I had to recognize it was unhealthy. The first person that I ever was supposed to be kind and loving to was myself. It is a process making up for lost time in neglecting my own needs but it is one that is so overwhelmingly necessary. Now with keeping my own peace in mind first I am able to set healthier boundaries and habits between myself and others so that I can practice kindness in a way that is both beneficial to myself and the relationships I would like to have.

As an artist I always think about how awesome it is to create despite the non-purposeful destruction we often see. It is a superpower just like kindness. And though I have not always made the best choices in my dealings with others due to reasons stated above I find myself extremely grateful for the reciprocal and loving bonds I have formed with a few. They are real. And I take pride in being respected for who I am and what I decide to do regardless of the path I’ve walked in being and unraveling who I am as an individual. It has been slow and steady but a rewarding path overall. May I never forget that kindness continues to carry me through it all.

Love,

Lyrique

Jermarco Britton