Maitrī is defined by Wikipedia as “benevolence, loving-kindness, friendliness, amity, good will, and active interest in others.” This word is translated from Sanskrit and is a virtue of Buddhism.
I believe with every fiber of my being that every single one of us has the potential to increase our loving-kindness to ourselves and to others. There are times in life when you take an action, like being kind, when perhaps you just were not feeling your kind vibe at the moment, that this kind action will do a plethora of positve things for the other person and for you. It becomes a positive party for everyone. Scientific research supports this. A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article titled “Why Being Kind Helps You – Especially Now” states “being kind—doing something to help someone else—can help you, too. Research links kindness to a wealth of physical and emotional benefits. Studies show that when people are kind, they have lower levels of stress hormones and their fight-or-flight response calms down. They’re less depressed, less lonely and happier.”
Buddha says “If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.”
My chosen career path immerses me with people struggling with a variety of challenges that affect them with different degrees of intensity. My humanness, from my own experiences of challenges, to seeing people I love struggle, has taught me to not judge or shame. I used to judge and shame myself, which carried over into all of my relationships and perspectives of others. No one wants to be dealing with hard stuff, even when some of their choices got them there. So what if we simplified it all. For ourselves and for others. We take a loving-kindness perspective for ourselves and for others. We use a “so what, now what” forward moving action step? After working on myself to change how I saw myself, and others, it helped me to be a kinder, gentler, and more loving person. I was happier and prouder of the person I am.
“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” Arthur Ashe
The majority of us know when we are making decisions that are not healthy for us. We know when we are taking an action that is not in our best interest. Our mind, body, and soul sends signals, which all of us, myself included, have ignored. Instead of berating ourselves, or someone else, we were loving, kind, and caring. We use compassion and empathy.
“Be careful of how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.” Lisa M. Hayes
My short and sweet message today is to be kind and gentle to yourself. Work on changing those inner thoughts of how you talk to yourself. Change the inner and outer conversations you have about others. By changing the words you use and how you say things will change your brain, your heart, your soul. You deserve all the loving-kindness in the world. Give it to yourself. Give it to others. You have the power and ability to be the person you want to be. You matter.
May your Maitrī be with you💜