I really did not expect to ever post anything about Drug Addiction on my blog about kindness and happiness, but I saw this article that caught my eye. The title is The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered and it's Not What You Think.
I'd say that title is an understatement to put it simply (because I want you to read the article), it underscores the importance of kindness and human connection. It can make A HUGE difference in peoples lives, so be kind and pass it on!
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.
Wow, has this ever been true in my life! I bet it has been in your's too if you stop and think about it. When I have sought things that just please me, oh I might be happier for a bit, but it is very fleeting.
And lets face it happiness is never a permanent state, nor should it be.
But I have found that when I am not seeking happiness for myself, the feeling not only lingers longer in me, it spreads to others. And that is a most wonderful feeling.
Let's spread some happiness!
Yesterday I saw a meme on Facebook that said: "Happiness does not start with the things you do but with the things you think." The person who posted it asked if people agreed. Most people said yes, I the Happiness Coach, said no! I said in fact: "No, very often doing something kind, whether you feel like it or not, can help change the way you are thinking. I think it often starts with doing. The doing can effect others around you too." Actually just thinking happy thoughts can backfire on you and make you wonder why you aren't happier when you are trying so hard.
Happiness can be very illusive when it is what you are seeking. However, when you are acting kindly towards others, or getting lost in a cause larger than yourself, it can sneak right up on you.
Also yesterday one of my friends posted a video that exemplifies this very well. He was bullied and measurable. He turned his life around by practicing a very simple act of kindness consistently everyday, I am sure even when he didn't feel like it, especially when he first started and others just thought he was strange.
Please watch this video to see the power of simple acts of kindness changing lives in action.
I did not intend to post twice today, but after what I just read, I had to.
I just launched this web site yesterday, what didn’t know was that yesterday was also Kindness Matters Day, a day dedicated to the memory of a young man named Peyton, a boy who tragically took his own life because of bullying.
My emotions are all in knots because my experience of being bullied in school is so similar to his, except that I survived. As you can see on my About page, I had more that I survived too.
My goal now is to leave a legacy of kindness. It is for myself, Payton, and millions of others.
ALL people want to be happy, let’s teach them that kindness creates happiness!
I hope that you will join in this cause and help spread kindness.
More information on Payton and the importance of kindness can be found at: Kindness Matters
Today's post is short, because I hope you will take some time to not only watch the video that I have posted with it but to do a lot more followup on what Micheal Dowd and others teach on Religious Naturalism. That is a reverent awe inspiring view of life based on evidence, what is real, rather than on ancient texts and myths.
The fact is Happiness AND Kindness will always be illusive if our understanding of why we struggle is that a woman ate an apple thousands of years ago, rather than we have mismatched instincts from millions of years of evolution.
So here is a great introductory video on Why We Suffer be Micheal Dowd followed by a couple links for further information below.
David Blood Kindness and Relationship Marketing Coach