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Releasing Resistance Through Kindness

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Green Harmony - detail - © Jo Jayson 2009The following statement made a powerful impact on me when I first read it:

"When faced with the choice between being right or being kind, always choose kind. You can never go wrong."

I thought to myself, "Well, of course." But several days later as I was sitting with a situation that inspired strong contrast in me, again this mantra came into my awareness. And I realized that this was far more that just an inspiring slogan. As I explored the possibility of being kind in my difficult situation, I literally felt the negative emotion slip away. My ego was able to disengage as my heart became focused on my profound ability to offer kindness instead. By allowing myself another avenue of action, my resistance was soothed and my alignment was restored.

The situation was such that I had a belief that if someone cared about me, that person would behave in a way that was respectful of me and my wishes. So what do you do when you are experiencing something that you have decided is disrespectful to you? My ego immediately became unfurled and no amount of self-talk would put it back in the bottle. Every time I witnessed the evidence of this person's "lack of respect", negative feelings surged. I was at a complete loss. I know that basing my happiness on what someone else does is a useless premise. But I couldn't get past it. The ego is a powerful taskmaster. Then suddenly came the epiphany. I could proclaim my "right"-ness and brow beat this situation into compliance, OR, I could choose the path of least resistance. By allowing myself to feel kindness, everything changed inside me. This person is not doing this to annoy me. It actually does no harm. He is doing the best he can like everyone else. He is free to choose and he chooses this.

The relief was palpable. And the resistance was truly gone. One week later, this person on his own volition, changed the behavior. Whatever you push against persists. And by aligning with who you really are, you allow all that you have asked for.

As I contemplated my experience, I realized that this was, in fact, a core principle in every spiritual practice. Being kind provides you with the ability to follow the path of least resistance. It allows you to go with the flow. When you can approach situations with kindness, by definition you have released the major obstacle to all human interactions - judgment. Because you cannot feel kindness and judgment at the same time.

Judgment, or our need to evaluate the "worthiness" of everything and everyone through the lens of the ego, is a crippling burden to the soul. And it's a huge step in our personal evolution when we realize, in the moment, that there is another choice.

Now, I don't mean the action of deciding that you prefer one thing instead of another. That kind of judgment does not carry any "good" or "bad" labels. Deciding what you prefer is part of the joy of being human. You get to choose! But you can tell the difference by how you feel. It does not fill your heart with joy to judge a person or situation as wrong, inappropriate or inadequate. Unlike deciding that you prefer vanilla rather than chocolate which is fun, putting things in categories that somehow indicate that they are lacking or inferior feels bad. But with your focus, you can choose kindness instead.

When the weather does not suit you, you can focus on its benefit to the flora and fauna, the opportunity to allow your day to take an unexpected turn or just a deep appreciation of the fact that you get to witness yet another day on this glorious, sometimes unpredictable planet. When someone misses an appointment or is late, you can focus on the bonus of some unexpected personal time to go outside, take a walk or even a quick meditation. The driver who frightened you this morning with his actions on the road is certainly dealing with life’s challenges. Because of this experience, you are now aware of the dip in your own vibration that placed that driver in your path giving you the opportunity to clean it up.

And a simple reminder to yourself that everyone is doing the best they can is a transformational perspective.

No matter the situation, whether you choose judgment or kindness, there is really only one person affected. And that person is you! I realized a long time ago that the faults you see in another are always just a reflection of the things you judge the most harshly in yourself. So in your choice of kindness, you are actually finding a way to be kind to yourself. And in doing so, you open the door to the expansion of your true self.

About the Artist:

This original painting, Green Harmony (detail © Jo Jayson 2009), is about the heart chakra. Just gazing at this piece dropped me immediately into the field of the heart. The artist likens the heart chakra to a recycling center that recycles the love you are able to give to yourself into that which you are capable of giving to another.

The mythical art of Jo Jayson brings the intimate passion and beauty of the Goddess alive in her many forms. Her images have a poetic flow and feel to them, created by the soul. The depth of emotion conveyed in each painting is palpable. Her work is truly magnificent! To learn more and view her work go to http://www.jojayson.com.

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