Soften, soften, soften. Whenever we wake up and realize that we have hardened our hearts, that we are pulling away, that we are wanting to be right and standing our ground, that our anger has led us far away from what we really want (to belong, to be loved, to be connected)…the answer isn’t to get more ridged. Or more self-righteous. Or more self-protective and closed off. It’s to soften.
Soften our brow. Soften our jaw. Soften our shoulders away from our ears. Soften our grip on…everything. Unclench our fists. Soften our words – to ourselves and others. Soften around our heart. Soften, soften, soften.
I am finding more and more the truth of what Lao-tzu says here — softness always triumphs over hardness or harshness or rigid thinking or trying to justify our positioning. Softness is always stronger and more powerful than any kind of power that comes from fear and seeks to dominate. I am convinced of this now.
Next time we feel the burn of anger, of feeling justified in how we feel or in what we think, of judging someone else — however right we may believe we are — just soften. Breathe into the heart. Relax the shoulders and jaw and eyes and belly. Soften, soften, soften. And a true strength rises.
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