Living with my husband over the years, I have come to see that the ultimate of power and strength comes from gentleness.
It sounds like an oxymoron. In this culture, we often get messages that tell that “getting ahead” or “being successful” are a result of brute strength, ironclad resolve, major sweat, calculated and manipulative strategizing, and stepping on whoever you need to in order to be on top. Just check out most reality shows – from the Bachelor to…what’s the one called when Donald Trump, with a crumpled up face, scowls, points his finger, and says “You are fired?” The kind of power that results from such “work” is motivated by fear, running off the fumes of taunt, stressed out nerves. Underneath the bravado (fame, fortune)…is still fear. And anxiety.
Over the years of really getting to know my husband, watching how he works and loves, I have come to see the power of steadfast kindness and gentleness. Being treated with tender gentleness is like sweet water for parched nerves. It softens the nerves instead of frying them. It calms the anxious mind. Instead of hardening the heart, it breathes a sense of expansiveness it. Being talked to, looked at, and held with sweet kindness is like having a soft blanket wrapped around you. A warmth that makes its way into your skin, toes, and heart. It renews hope, fuels passion, and infuses the spirit with an airy lightness yet also a grounded, unshakable strength. Now what else can do such things?! THAT is true power!
This is how Brian loves…and lives. This is what Brian’s love does to me. In 2011, I’m letting myself soften more and more by the power of gentleness. I’m letting go of some of my Capricorn-got-to-be-in-charge-and-push-the-boulder-up-the-hill way of running our family and creating more room for Brian’s gentle way of loving and living to be the pervasive modus-aperendi of our fam.
My second “word for the year”…strengthen. Strengthen my body. Pregnancy takes a toll on me. And it takes me pretty much the whole first year of having babe on this earth to really feel like we are in a sweet flowing groove. So I’m looking forward to getting to the Y and doing some vigorous “moving my body!” There are other types of “strengthening” that are calling me – something related to having laser-like focus related to what I put my energy into, my confidence in my writing and my work and my parenting…but I am tired tonight! More to come.
Third word – forgive. I am feeling a movement within me to go through some focused forgiveness meditations. Maybe this is a result of my meditation on death that I recently did. I tend to think that I am a person who lets go and is about wanting to dissolve any “issue” that may be between me and another person. But when I see how often I get triggered, I realize that I still hold on to past crap! So, in 2011, I’m venturing into the dark corners of my heart and opening up the windows to bring in the light of forgiveness.
Soften, strengthen, and forgive. And whatever gets set in motion even from just having these words on my heart for 2011 is enough. Rather than “goals” these are new currents calling me to jump in. I know they will take up residence within me as I hold these three words throughout the year.
Friends, consider having a “word for the year” — a word or three, a short phrase – something that can help you focus on what truly matters — to you, your family and how you want to live this precious life. When life gets busy, when you get triggered, this word will be like a lighthouse calling you back home — home to your own self and soul.
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