imagesWe as women, especially Christian women, are taught to be nice. We are taught to smile amiably and be pleasing…agreeable… nice. Nice comes from our brain. Nice is something we are taught.

Kindness, on the other hand, comes from the heart. Kindness comes only when thought, word, and action are in congruence. It happens instantaneously. We don’t sit around and think about it. We have no need to run and tell all our good deed. Kindness happens. Nice, we think about.

Nice is saying yes when we want desperately to say no. Nice is acquiescing to another. The energy of nice is rarely the energy that we want to leave behind.  

I remember a perfect example.

At this time we belonged to a small church here in Columbia. The priest was a very dear family friend. After dinner one evening he is admiring a nativity scene that I had painted and asked for me to do a larger one for the church. I had two small children and a salon to run. Well, of course, I say yes. I love to create. I spend months working, every spare moment goes in to this project. They turned out amazing. He then asks if I would come to the church and set it up and help the ladies with the rest of the decorating. All things I love to do mind you, but wow. Christmas time for a hairstylist is nonstop. I have myself scheduled to work right through Christmas eve. Again, of course, I say yes. I arrive after a long week on my feet, playing Santa every spare minute in-between, only to put my smile on and decorate the church. I walk in crabby, tired and hungry. Where were my priorities… would it have been better for everyone concerned had I gone home and been with my children like I wanted? Probably…Yes.

images-1Being nice isn’t always the right thing to do. Nice usually comes from our own references. We are giving a person what we think they need. We push them into our picture to puff ourselves up. We fly in like Florence Nightingale and pick up the pieces and put them back together how we see fit. That way in our story we can tell others how we knew best and we can be told what a nice thing we have done. You see, not really for the other person at all.

Kindness has the discernment to know if its your’s to affect. Jesus didn’t heal everyone He met. He didn’t presume that He knew best for all those He encountered. He waited to be asked and a need declared.

In the realm of nice comes cloaked arrogance and in this arrogance we feel we can affect everything we see.

What if we are really just butting in and robbing those involved of their real experience?

What if we are also robbing the real hero their opportunity to deliver kindness over our mediocre niceness?

images-4Energetically playing the nice game depletes us. We often feel scattered and tired… robbed of time. Kindness fills us. We feel charged and lit up. We don’t think of our kind acts as taking from our lives in anyway. In fact often they feel inconsequential we have no thought of our deeds.

Nice often leaves us with that twinge of guilt because our head is saying one thing while listening to the conflicting words coming out of our mouths. Then the action doesn’t really feel good because while doing the good, deep down we are complaining about it… either on the inside or behind closed doors. Right?

images-2Niceness is a program that interferes with what is meant to be. It compromises our integrity. It leaves mediocrity behind. It takes a much more solid and faith filled person to walk by sometimes knowing that the situation was not meant for us. That the intended will do a better job. Its like trying to make that nearly right piece fit in the working of a jigsaw puzzle, instead of being patient enough for the right piece to become visible. Rather than moving on we spend our energy trying to will the piece in hand to fit.

So you see nice keeps you in charge while kindness leaves the script writing to the Universe.

These are my thoughts… now for yours.

 

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