Kindness doesn’t mean just being nice or pretending like you care. Cultivating kindness means opening your heart, with patience and attention, to your painful feelings—and to other people’s painful feelings. So when you’re upset with someone else, it’s important to acknowledge it. Pay attention to it. Feel it in your body. You could even say to yourself, “I’m upset right now, I’m struggling.” Sometimes we don’t really know what we’re feeling. I was recently telling my husband about something a family member did and he said, “Kim, you’re angry.” I shouted back at him, “NO, I’M NOT ANGRY!” Then I had to laugh because of course I was angry. The point here is that [while] someone else may truly be frustrating or have done something hurtful, you’re responsible for your feelings. Your feelings are your feelings, and only you can take care of them.
From Tricycle’s May 2021 Dharma Talk series “In It Together: Kindness through Crisis” with Kimberly Brown.
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