Kindness. It’s my word for the day. Not just toward everyone else, but toward me, myself and I.

It has been especially glorious in our lovely beachside town this week, and I chose to pull off the road and take full advantage of it, even if it was just for a short walk. That short walk with my toes in the sand and the icy waters around my ankles proved just the thing to wash away my worries and concerns, and breathe fresh life into my thoughts, my day.

I was reminded of the early baby days with my girl, those days where the incessant crying was about all she could do. I knew it wasn’t about me, that this was just her way of expressing herself. It was all she had and she did it well.

My role was to soothe her, to hold her cocoon like in a nest of love. It was all I had and it was everything. She was moving through her own babyhood experience and all I could do, the most I could do was hold her and love her through it.

So I loved her, and reassured her, sang to her and cuddled her. Until…until sometimes almost all at once I simply couldn’t do it anymore. There was nothing left from me. My tank ran dry, at least for that time, and it was all I could do just to be with her.

Sometimes I put her in her crib. Sometimes I shoved her in my husband’s arms as soon as he came home. Sometimes I got angry. Sometimes I cried.

With the passing of time and the lesson of repetition, I have come to embrace kindness to myself as equally important as love for my child. Clearly when I am depleted I have nothing from which to give. A dried up desert has no water for anyone.
How can I love her without taking care of me?

So today, that kindness to my myself looked like a great cup of coffee from my favorite place and a nice surprise walk on the beach at 78 degrees in February. That little break, that simple decision to shower myself with the same love and compassion I do with all of my loved ones (and there are so many!) softened my heart and my attitude.

In finding kindness toward myself, I’m kinder to those around me. I’m loving them in that cuddly nest, and I’m making sure there’s one for me too.

Be kind to yourself today.