kindness under stress and shoulds

I feel like I want to title this post 'how to be kind'. I could probably use a refresher.

I have noticed that when I am under high stress I start feeling mean, mostly internal and directed towards myself. What amazes me is how it just sneaks up on me. After all these years you would think flashing red lights and maybe sirens would go off warning me that I am approaching dangerous stress levels. But instead my poor body/mind/heart keeps on trying to adjust to those new stress levels and I feel either slightly crappy [or sick or tired or, or, or]

When feeling irritation or aversion with strangers or sometimes loved ones for no real reason I do try to remind myself that we are all human. I try to grope for some kind of connection or even try to drum up a feeling of compassion. I also try to not stuff my feelings, if I am irritated I do try to name and accept that emotion. [internally, not spraying it out on everyone within range] and I sigh a lot.

I have also learned that unless I can be kind to myself I usually don't have much of a chance of being kind to those I find 'difficult'. This of course in no news for those practicing metta, [or probably anyone] you always start with yourself when it comes to loving kindness meditation.

However what do you do when you are so stressed that everything, even things you like, seem like 'shoulds'? When you feel like you are just so overwhelmed by events that you can't just 'be' anymore? How to be kind to yourself when you feel like your heart wouldn't recognize kindness if it slept with you?

Right now I'm at the point where I ask myself 'what sounds like fun or easy?' and I am just accepting that the answer may be long time in coming. It just is.

So there are my babblings on kindness, shoulds and stress for the day. Not sure why I wanted to write about them but I did. It may help a bit to bring my awareness to the process and not stay in the middle of it.

Times like these make me wish for the ocean, I need more space.


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