Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The courage to be gentle!

One of the greatest qualiies we possess is gentleness and yet how often do we allow this aspect of ourselves to be seen?  For many of us how acceptable is it ? How often have you felt it, but as quickly as it came it went?  When did you feel safe enough to allow others to feel it too?
When you’ve made a mistake do you usually treat yourself gently?  Isn’t that the tme we all need to, rather than tell ourselves we are stupid or inadequate, or unleash our anger on ourselves?  When we do things that we later disapprove of, are these not the times when kindness, genteness and support would benefit us most to help integrate what we need to learn?

When we are offered empathy in such circumstances, do we acknowledge it or do we push others away in our frustration, self punishment and feelings of not being worthy to reeive?

Have you ever been aware of wanting top punish yoursekf (or have others punish you) when you think you have failed, said the wrong thing or let others down?    Out the door goes gentleness.  Out the door goes the chance to be supportive of yourself and to embrace how to handle things differently in the future.

Where did we get such a black and white concept of good and bad?  When did we become so fixed in our ideas of right and wrong and when did we decide that the maker of mistakes particuarly ourselves must receive punishment rather than understanding, gentleness, friendship and the all important reminder hat mistakes are just part of the human journey.  

In trying to ensure that mistakes do not happen again, how often do we inflict pain through a mixture of critisicm, revenge, aggression and abuse on ourselves and others in some msplaced belief that forgiveness, tolerance and patience are out of the question and the very opposite to what is required?  In our quieter moments do we really believe this or can we see that somewhere on our journey we have brought a whole range of habits and unconscious patterns which are foreign to our heart and feelings?

If we cultivated our gentleness - and this does not mean an avoidace of issues or real honesty , it coud be very different for us when we or others failed to meet expectations.   No longer would so many of us need to avoid owning up,  to constantly defend, blame, make excuses, become emotional, hide or run away, or to refuse to discuss the issues on hand.
Gentleness should NEVER be confused with weakness.   To have gentle strength is comforting, reassuring, inspiring and it feels safe  To act with gentleness takes courage - it is not something we pretend but a quality which promotes true communication and understanding and one which comes with the potential for greater freedom from the past, so that we can get on with living TODAY - with quality.

(With kind permission from the Relaxation Centre of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland.)

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