Learning to be Kind

I'm learning what it means to be kind — to myself.

The world tells us being an introvert is not the sort of person we should be — extroversion creates the successful person. They get ahead in relationships, ahead in business, they get ahead...But I think slowly but surely this barrier is being broken.

Personally, I am an introvert — but there is such a preconceived notion of what that personality type acts like — it is not always the case. Get to know me and I'll seem anything but introverted. What it comes down to is how each personality type recharges.

The extrovert recharges by being around other humans — with lots of interaction.

The introvert recharges by being in the quiet — spending quality time alone.

The extrovert is worn down being alone.

The introvert is charged up by being alone.

And for me? I am learning how to honestly care for me, as an introvert and accepting the fact and denying everything I've heard that being introverted is bad.

Early this morning at the gym, I had a revelation — what being kind to myself means. Being kind means taking time for myself and basking in that opportunity. Some of you reading right now are probably saying "duh!" Truly, this is a revelation because finding and taking time to just take care of me is something that is hard to learn. This does not mean doing housework alone, it means spending time for self-care. Self-care may mean sitting outside on a sunny day reading a book. Or it may mean collapsing in the silence of a Saturday afternoon watching a movie; or taking time to write a blog post; or rising in the morning to go for a run.

Today this is what my morning looked like (and it was oh so good for the introverted soul):

Buzz buzz buzz — My eyes slowly open, I don't want to get up, it is dark, sunrise is still not even near. I think to myself, if I don't get up now, I won't get to the gym. So I roll out of bed, tie on my running shoes, fill up my water bottle and head out the door. Silently I drive to the gym. I walk in, keep to myself — this is me time. I jump on the machine and start to run, slowly at first then harder and harder. And I hear myself breath — inhale, exhale — breaths of life — breaths of kindness. Three miles in, I look at the clock, disappointed that I need to go, I need to get ready to start my day — but all I can think about is: Kara, try to remember this tomorrow morning when your alarm goes off: This is your time. This is your self-preservation. This is what it is like to be kind to yourself. This is your time before the day even begins, before the crazy gets started at work. Remember this...

As I leave the gym, the sun is just barely starting to peak over the horizon and I was already kind to myself today. I feel charged up and ready to conquer this day.

What are you — introverted or extroverted? Do you know what it means to be kind to yourself? Share what this is like for you — we all have something to learn.

1 comment:

  1. I am definitely an introvert, and you are right many have preconceived notions on what it means...it doesn't mean that I don't like people, but I value my "me" time and need it! As far as what being kind to myself means to me, I think you have posted some good thoughts on finding your true-self and contemplating what being kind to yourself means. Life seems chaotic with work, kids, schedules thank you for grounding me and making me think about taking time to pause, reflect, and hopefully learn a bit more too!