The Kindness of Strangers

Recently there’s been some challenging times in my life, and through this I’ve learnt about the massive importance of leaning on each other, looking for a light when you think you’re in the dark.

My difficulties have been down to endometriosis, a condition which I’ve discussed before. The present stage of this struggle has meant a constant labour-esque pain, and being off my face on a ton of painkillers. Definitely not the cocktail I would choose…

In each picture from the last few months, although on the outside I appear ‘normal’, I’ve actually been in agony, awaiting relief. Facing the day-to-day dramas of this disease with determination, I have however wanted to slap the helpful individuals who’ve said “well you look fine”.

Knowing how I’ve felt inside, it’s made me think about what those around us may be struggling with on a day-to-day basis, constantly concealing a personal weight which feels insurmountable. They could be Mums at the school gate or couples in the street; people carrying out bog-standard tasks fighting monumental secret pain, whether emotional or physical.

During a hospital stay last month, I sobbed for painkillers and felt totally isolated. Then, a lady in the bed next to me who was recovering from a serious operation, got up and silently walked over. Stroking my hair, she stood with me (which must have been hard enough for her to physically do) until the doctor administered IV pain relief. Hugging me and talking about her family as my tears plopped onto her PJs, I felt like she was an angel in disguise.

Sometimes it is strangers who add kindness and power to our day, through simple yet breathtaking actions. For me this is often just via understanding nods at the checkout, when my three year old has dragged his feet round each aisle of the supermarket. These moments speak the invisible words of, “that’s Motherhood, I’ve been there and I get it”.  I’m instantly lifted by such empathy and empowerment, especially as all this usually occurs on a day I’m unwittingly wearing my pants inside out, and the previous wash I did dyed everything pink.

Wonderful Vicki, aka Honest Mum, was not unknown to me as such, because we’ve chatted via email and spoken on the phone. Yet when she sent me the most beautiful bunch of flowers completely out of the blue, I was unbelievably touched. This striking act of kindness from someone I’ve not met amazed me, making my whole week.

At the moment I have days in which I feel like I’m fighting against a constant gust of wind, trying my hardest to stay upright. And thankfully, I have an incredible tight knit group of friends and family keeping me on my feet during this particular onslaught. They are people who don’t ask if I’m better yet, expect an instant solution or define me by this current situation.

But, I’ve learnt it’s also selfless strangers everywhere who can guide us through the storm, meaning whatever hurdle arises, you are never alone to face it. One of my favourite quotes is, ‘Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti’, and I truly believe this is what we should do.

10 thoughts on “The Kindness of Strangers

  1. Oh darling, I’m in tears reading this beautifully written, touching post, the pain you are going through is so unfair and I hope things improve immensely and quickly for you soon. It was my absolute pleasure to send you those flowers, a small gesture my sweet, so you know I’m here for you and thinking about you. Chatting on the phone, I felt like we’d known each other forever, isn’t the online world amazing?! I’ve found so many sisters through it- true friends that understand the world we live and work in. You are so right about the kindness of strangers, how small gestures and words can mean so much. That lady in your ward does sound like an angel. Thank you for including me in this, I feel honoured. I love the saying of throwing kindness like confetti and have it pinned on my Wise Words board. What a post to start the morning off, you’ve made my day to include me here, thank you and lots of love xxx

  2. Well said. So true. I’ve often felt like some strangers are angels in disguise. It’s very difficult having an unseen illness. Thinking of you & sending hugs xxx

  3. God that sounds awful. But you are right about strangers. They can be so kind.
    I’m happy to have read this post. Only the other day I wrote a post lamenting the fact that kindness is dying out.

  4. Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart through this story. I wholeheartedly agree that random acts of kindness are so vital to our happiness! Sometimes, when our family and friends are kind, we have justifications for their behaviors. But when it’s a stranger and it’s random, we know it’s pure with no expectation of anything but a smile. I’m grateful that others showed you kindness and I hope to spread the same joy today and every day. Keep posting, pretty girl! Loved this post!

    • Thank you so much! I completely know what you mean about gestures being without agendas etc, I think that’s what makes these random acts so sincere and special.

  5. Darling, what you’ve had to go through and are still experiencing now is just plain HORRID, yet you’ve stayed strong throughout. Sometimes it takes a stranger to see through the strength to really see how we’re feeling and that lady at your hospital was your guardian angel. Keep being kind to yourself my lovely, despite what you think you are a courageous, inspirational and amazing lady and mumma, seek refuge from those closest and know we’re all here for u x x x x xx

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