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For much too long, I relied on being strong to protect me from feeling unsafe.
But it is softness, which heals the self-contempt from my childhood trauma.
This type of softness does not apologize for its kindness or feel bullied by defeat. It does not easily retreat from confusion nor give up its ground by staring at its feet.
The softness that heals is the humble authority of an ocean—positioning itself beneath the rivers and streams, giving distant waters a grander surrounding to call home.
This type of tenderness with ourselves is the breathlessness of a warm exhale, opening up to the cool, refreshing breeze of winter air. It is the surrendered glory of a fatigued runner, bent over at the finish line, experiencing exhilarated peace even if they did not make their best time.
The softness that heals is a victory against the borrowed meanness that we used against ourselves—making friends with the enemy inside who was a reluctant prisoner of self-hate.
It is taking a rule of thumb from Genghis Khan and treating our inner critic better than their rhetoric of slander. This type of gentleness is the discretion of a wise mother, who knows that every bashful part within is a devoted child seeking to gain a caring leader’s confidence.
Being softer with myself has taught me that I can lessen my inner children’s discontent by giving them a more encouraging set of orders. And this change of tone ends the internal fractures—it stops the unattended parts from running amok and causing emotional cancers.
The softness that heals is not giving in to the preferential treatment of our socially esteemed characteristics—creating an internal sense of equity that enlists the cooperation of our inner misfits.
The softness that heals is a just form of personal humanity, where no one part of us is made to feel better than the other. A spiritual democracy that emancipates us to live fully embodied.