Rambles on Love, Kindness, and Cruelty

Cruelty comes from fear and pain, but what about kindness? I always felt kindness was a virtue…

But what if kindness can be projected from a space of fear and guilt too? Kindness can be as much a mask as cruelty is… Gentle consideration, with ulterior motives and harsh assumptions can still be called kindness… So maybe kindness isn’t the virtue I thought it was.

And what is it called when something is not gentle or considerate, but it still comes from good intentions and radiating love?

Kindness to me is gentle and considerate action… but since those actions aren’t inherently coming from a space of love, it’s reasonable to believe that sometimes even an act of kindness can be a form of cruelty to self and others.

This scares me though. If I rewrite my values and no longer strive to be kind above all else, which virtue might replace the intention I’ve always carried of being true to my loving core by never giving anyone cause to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome.

Respect might come up as the new virtue… Just like in Troy, “even enemies can show respect.” But in our society, respect is too often confused with exchanging ones own silence or approval for status. It feels dirty to me.

Honesty, then? But honesty can also be cruel…

Wait, it’s only really cruel to the ego, because the soul is capable of handling the truth- it’s the pride of the ego that is hurt by honesty… Still, that’s not quite right.

Expansiveness, maybe? Is that a virtue? Expansiveness is love, it’s openness. It’s curiosity and serendipity. It’s a state of being where duality is honored and the seasons of life are respected. Where boundaries are key, and love abounds. Expansiveness is love, and I want it to become a mantra to me the way that kindness once was.

Love. It scares me a little because I don’t know if I can be love all the time in every thought and action, always. A friend told me today, “nobody is kind all the time.” I think she was right, and maybe that applies to love as well. We are human. We shift and change and grow and learn. We experience passionate and powerful emotions in a body designed to react to those feelings on thought and physical levels.

So maybe expansiveness and love start with me… with allowing myself to be human. To feel uncertain, to be less than perfect love sometimes… to release the instinct to place kindness above all else… I’m learning expansiveness and boundaries at the same time. Sending myself love is not just a kindness, it’s a necessity. It’s the only way I survive.

Jessica PenaComment