This web site is about how kindness creates happiness, and that is clearly very important. But other things are as well.
One of those is the freedom to openly be your true self.
Thanks to a friend of mine I found a powerful video on the cost of people hiding themselves in the closet. It can even cut more than a decade off of peoples lives. I would suggest that it also costs people any chance of true happiness. I know this from personal experience, which is of course why the subject of kindness and happiness is such a passion of mine.
This video is about a gay hiding and that is a well known situation, all too well known. But it applies to many other people as well. Virtually anything where a person feels that who they are is in conflict with and will not be accepted by most of the people around them.
It could be in the area of sexuality, religion (someone who is not religious in a very religious culture, or of a different religion than the predominate one in the culture), politics, social, economics (someone who loves someone from a different social status for example), etc.
As the movie Dead Poets Society pointed out very dramatically it can simply be a child having desires for his or her life that are different from their parents expectations.
On my About Page I share that I was a target of an extremely traumatic family intervention, that intervention happened because I was hiding my true self, and I got outed. For me it was because I had come to view body shame as stupid and unhealthy from an early age, but my family was wrapped up in shame, they saw the human body as fallen, sinful, and shameful.
In my closet, I had a web site promoting healthy body acceptance, it got discovered and I got outed.
But let me tell you as hard and traumatic as that was, it was probably one of the best things to ever happen to me. There is no happiness when you are hiding your true self in a closet.
But this also gets to the kindness side of this coin. As long as someones true self is not hurting others, no one should ever have to hide who they are at all. In kindness and gratitude for the differences that make life interesting and worth living everyone should be accepted for their true selves. It should make no difference who they love or what they believe.
Some would say that it's religion that causes people to hide their true selves, and I would say no, it's rigidity. Religion is just a symptom or expression of this larger human challenge. I have seen rigidity expressed in non-religious communities as well.
Actually I think it is evolutionary, it is natural to favor those like us and shun those not like us. But because we are conscious and we can see the big picture of the importance of diversity, I think this is an area where we need to rise above instincts.
We can change this, we can learn to see that everyone is valuable as their true selves, to let go of our rigidity and accept others as they are in kindness. And that my friend will lead to much more happiness for everyone.
I hope you get as much out of this video as I did.
David Blood Kindness and Relationship Marketing Coach