There have been many
who have gone before me
and their courage,
makes me more courageous.
Their words and songs
make me feel seen,
and now I have power
where there was despair.
When I did not have a voice,
they spoke for me.
When I did not have the will,
they sang over me.
I am learning more
about my power,
but power isn’t always
stern and serious,
You see, when my smile is wide like the sunset,
and my laughing
become a mighty power of their own.
I want to dip into the cool water
I want to refresh myself
on the fountain of grace.
If I sound preachy,
then let me preach something
that I believe in:
Kindness is power.
I want to see more of it.
I want to fill my eyes with it during the day
So much so, that when I dream,
All I can dream is kindness.
I want to kill my selfishness.
I want to put to death things that should die.
I want to water the things that should live.
I want kindness to grow
And I want it to take root in my heart.
I want kindness to grow,
because kindness is my power.
Confidence is something I’ve lacked my whole life. People have told me I need to gain confidence; everyone from my mom to my pastor. I would love to feel comfortable in my own skin, in my beliefs, in my doubts, in my struggle with depression and mental illness. But I’m not – not really anyway and on top of that, I’m not sure how to work on it.
Maybe if there was a special pill I could take in the morning (along with the litany of other pills I already take … what’s one more?). That sounds nice and easy.
There are not many areas where I can hold on to confidence and feel secure in myself. I am an average musician, with an average voice. I am a poet who has never been published. I am an author with a book collecting dust. I have never experienced success in the workplace. I have a disorder that makes all manner of those things difficult. I care about my friends more deeply than they care about me. I suck at romantic relationships, to use a word that doesn’t fit the tone of the rest of this piece. You get the idea.
But I am kind. And I am honest. The world does not need more confidence in my opinion before it needs more kindness. I’m not saying confidence is not important, it clearly is. However, it comes down to: what I want to practice in my life. I want to practice kindness before everything else.
I want to practice honesty too; telling it how it is with no white-washing or bullshitting. And maybe, I’m realizing, confidence can come from those places instead of some vacuum that I don’t understand or some elixir that doesn’t exist. It can be born out of those top-tier things, like love for your fellow man.
I might have to be ok with a confidence meter that is perpetually half-full. I don’t know how to work on increasing it. I do know how to be more kind. There are always ideas in my head for that. I am naturally very honest and it could be that my apparent lack of confidence is really just a proclivity for telling the truth. The average man or woman probably feels the slights and nervousness that I feel, but doesn’t voice them. Along with their doubts and failings and unsuccesses.
Maybe it is not I who should be more confident, maybe it is you who needs to be more honest.
I am fascinated by confronting myself and telling the truth about every situation. ‘Know thy self’ seems like an idea worth pursuing and who knows, confidence could come with it some day.
Let all those who have been sleeping to the ways of kindness and hope, wake up.