One of my core indoctrinated beliefs, compliments of my upbringing and society, was that kindness is a weakness.
Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned on my spiritual journey towards recovery and brain health has been that kindness is a strength.
It took great courage for me to be vulnerable enough to act with kindness -facing potential rejection, letting down my guard, and risking being ridiculed for not “being a man.”
Yet, as experience has taught me, being kind with no expectation of reward is one of the most powerful salves for emotional and psychological pain, as it gets us out of ourselves and causes the brain to release oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine -the “feel good” chemicals.
And there is also great truth to the AA aphorism, “If you want self-esteem, then do esteemable acts.” Helping others makes me feel good about myself!
It is counter-intuitive when I view it through my “old pair of glasses,” but committing acts of kindness without expectation of reward is an act of strength AND it provides its own rewards.