I was browsing through Pinterest recently and came across an image that quickly swept me up into a world of nostalgia.
“Welcome to the Forest of Feelings” it said at the top. It was a promotional image introducing the Care Bears and their cousins. Remember them? The magical and adorable characters from the toy shelves and movie screens of the 1980s?
Well, I got completely swept up into that world again looking at that image, just like I would have as a child. It was a full page of detailed, richly colored illustrations of adorable creatures, each with their own unique personalities and descriptions being showcased with things like:
Gentle Heart Lamb: “Even though I’m usually shy, I’m a very trusting sort. I’ve got a soft heart for anyone in need. You can always count on me!”
Lotsa Heart Elephant: “If it’s strength you need to carry on, I’ll help you hang in there. I carry a lot of weight around here!”
Cozy Heart Penguin: “Everyone feels comfy cozy when I’m around. Whether playing a game or having a friendly party, you never have to worry ‘cause I take care of everything!”
The descriptions went on and on, like a list of patron saints for the magical realm. They were here to help, they cared, and you could find them all in the Forest of Feelings.
And boy did I have “all the feelings” as a child. (Umm...still do!)
After thinking about it, I realized that there was something about the Care Bears and their cousins that made it safe to have feelings...like it was normal and okay to have them.
Looking at this sweet little throwback image got me thinking...
What if we all became our own Care Bears?
I mean, couldn’t the world use more creatures of kindness and compassion in it?
But depending on your circumstances, it may be hard to find that kind of kindness in your life right now.
So, why wait for someone else to show you kindness? Why not be your own Care Bear every once in a while?
Think about it...
When you’re lost in the “forest of feelings,” are you harsh with yourself, or do you make your mind a safe place to be? When you mess up, do you show yourself grace, or do you scold yourself?
If we want the world to be a more kind and understanding place, doesn’t that also include you? I mean, you’re in this world too, so don’t you get to have the same kindness and understanding as everyone else?
After all, “if your compassion does not include yourself, it’s incomplete.” (Jack Kornfield)
So, go ahead—spread some kindness and compassion out there in the Forest of Feelings...and don’t forget to include yourself!
While you’re here, don't forget to stop by the gift shop and browse for some cozy gifts for yourself or someone else!