When I think about the cardio, strength, and flexibility exercises I have been doing, they seem to be my best efforts for my heart. Physically, that makes sense. But I also know there’s an exercise I can do that’s even better for my heart.
I can keep kindness prominent in my life.
To me, kindness includes thoughtful words and actions, and my willingness to give and receive them. I believe everyone benefits from kindness—doers and recipients are blest by it. Great benefit comes from caring for others and for ourselves.
Yet, I know some kindly intended actions are not received by others as we expect. Sometimes, kindness backfires and it produces unexpected negative results. Certainly, everyone experiences situations when we try to be caring but our actions are received otherwise.
That’s hard. Very hard. At least it’s very hard for me. I automatically want all my kindly intended words and deeds received as kindness. That’s human, but it’s not realistic. But when my caring words and deeds seem to go wrong, I can pause. A thoughtful pause can add wisdom and grace to a situation. There’s lots of value in well-placed pauses. They are kindness, too.
Recently, a friend said it’s important to continue to be kind, even though we might receive negative responses to our kindness. He cited an example in his life that strongly illustrated his sage advice. It emphasized it’s best for the heart to be kind, no matter the outcome. In my interactions with him, I continually witness his kindness to others and himself. He lives a kind life.
Please share what you know about kindness and the heart, so we can also benefit from it.