By Lead Advocate, Valerie Andrews
World Kindness Day is observed annually on November 13. Originally formed in 1998 to promote kindness throughout the world; this unofficial international celebration was designed to reflect and promote the common thread of kindness that binds us all together on a global level.
I must admit that five years ago, I doubted if I would even participate in such a day? Not because I’m not kind, I’m extremely good at showering others with kindness. But I fell flat on my face when it came to being kind to myself! I had to learn, teach, and most importantly allow myself to be capable of receiving such a simple act of virtue. I had to find my own kind.
Like many others, I struggle with self-kindness. Oftentimes, I neglect to pour into myself like I so freely do with others. I’ve shown more compassion and empathy to strangers. I’m able to encourage and praise my family and friends without hesitation. It’s become second nature to smile and greet neighbors or newbies within my community. I’m kind to animals and songbirds. I hug trees and little children. I am kind to the local mailman, I am kind by returning my grocery cart...I am kind to everyone and everything, except myself.
I had the pleasure of attending one of the former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book tours. It was an amazing, electrifying experience. During her conversation, she talked at length about self-care. I left that night with her words about self-compassion ringing in my ears. She said, “We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own to-do list”. She made us pinkie swear to pencil in some me-time; first whenever we make out our monthly calendars. Since that day I have tried (even though I’ve failed) to follow her lead and directions.
I would love to share with you my penciled in calendar agenda for World Kindness Day, Saturday, November 13, 2021
- Without guilt, sleep in as long as I want
- Coffee and Bible reading by the fireplace
- Go on a walk and listen to Flaws by Kierra
- Mediate and acknowledge my God loves me, flaws included
- Make sure I eat and enjoy a healthy dinner
- Journal, write myself a little love note
- Allow self to make changes to my day as needed
- Hug Melvin and myself, big squeeze only
- Bubble bath with lots of bubbles and smell goods
- Catch-up on my favorite show, before I fall asleep
Self kindness/compassion will undoubtedly be different, just like our journeys. I know mine looks different on a daily basis. That’s okay. That’ll help you grow. As an advocate living (and thriving) with OCD, I have come to understand the purpose and need for self-compassion. I also have come to terms with the power I have when and where I use it! It feels good! I’ve found my own kind, now go find yours! Hugs from Valerie.