Throughout my years growing up I was taught to be kind to others, to turn the other cheek -it is, to accept injury or insults without resisting or retaliating. And I had obey, I have worked very hard to develop the ability to behave with compassion no matter what situation were or from whom the injury came. As Piero Ferrucci says in his book The Power of Kindness (2007) I too wanted “to slowly but steadily turn our world away from violence, self-centeredness, and narcissism toward love”. I was and still I am pretty sure that kindness is the fertile soil in which affection grows, moreover, I did and do believe that there are no substitute for kindness.
Never crossed my mind the existence of an opposite dichotomy between kindness and self-respect. However, recently I see myself in a constant analysis of my recent past and present behavior: is it possible that irresponsible, unfair and negative comments and critics received from people very close to me had push away my kindness and has led to relationship breakdown? Is it possible that kindness has slip away and the relationship has become a painful struggle? If I gave and give kindness why I didn’t and don’t has get back kindness? Furthermore, are my current behaviors and attitudes reflecting my hurt ego or are they a protective shield of my self respect?
A healthy self-respect is based on believing in our own integrity. Integrity reflected in our constant effort of living according to firm values and principles learned from our elders, from our religious beliefs and through education and socialization. Self-respect is the result of our efforts for being always honest, reliable, truthfulness. Self-respect is always grounded in what we are and have being, not in what we can or cannot accomplish. Thus, whoever has crossed the limits of myself and infringed a wound on my right to be respected or had ignore my feelings had broke down the cycle of kindness. And now my wounded self inhibits me to act according to my inner guidance system, it is, giving kindness. My wounded self asked me to take care of it before any other thing, because unless I restore and complete the sequence of healing events I cannot behave again with honesty, reliability, and caring – with myself and with others.
Only after that, I will recover my individualized expression of God in my soul and I will be able again to love and to share the fruits of love: kindness, peace, joy and truth.