Trust in the Consistency of Kindness

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I have observed this trait as of late in others as well as myself, something I hope to be a conditioned behavior that can be relearned, for I need to believe we are not hardwired with the propensity of doubt and distrust. I have seen a friend struggle with this, withdrawing when things get close, get tough. I am unsure if it is a lack of trust in themselves for they are greatly burdened by many past experiences that could result in such distrust.  I have seen that recently in my cross-eyes cat who keeps inching closer only to shy away when I reach to offer affection.  I saw it in myself the past day or so, facing what felt like an insurmountable task, I sat down defeated, ready to throw in the towel and with tears streaking my cheeks, I received pep talks that gave me the courage to return to the task. This was followed by lunch and a few more words of encouragement but I realized that I felt uncomfortable with the kindness for at times it has been rare and in my distant past it was not always offered unconditionally with the compassion and concern at its foundation.

I work hard to balance that fear, to face the gift of kindness and compassion with grace and gratitude instead of doubt and dread. I must believe that we have learned to doubt in kindness for as young children we are open to that level of empathy and consideration, we too offered it freely without reservation. If that doubt is not learned, if it cannot be modified then I have lost hope. At what point does this cold world condition us differently? Can we learn to return to that level of trust, at least in the safety of our most intimate relationships? For if we cannot learn to trust in the consistency of care and kindness in our personal lives how can we ever survive when the rest of the world wants to do nothing more than see of fail, to keep score of our missteps and remind of us our faults ?

“A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly, who knows the best and worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults.”

-Charles Kingsley

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