Gentleness is Strength


Doesn’t the world seem so harsh sometimes?  Like the attitude of stress and always being on the go sucks people into a vacuum of cold-heartedness and individualism?  Stress seems to be a way that people put up more walls around themselves, hiding their innermost beauty.  Stress blurs people’s vision and makes it harder to see those who are in most need.  Stress makes us forget to take care of ourselves.  Stress doesn’t allow us time to truly experience our emotions, to laugh, to cry, to love being alive.  Stress masks our truest selves.  There is so much pressure in the world to be successful, to live up to a standard of “perfection” that we create in our minds.  It isn’t healthy.  And I’m not saying people shouldn’t work hard and be dedicated and passionate; I am all for that and am one of those people myself.  However, there is a fine line between the healthy and unhealthy sides of overachieving.  Why are we so weighed down all the time?  Will the things we’re currently stressing about matter in five years, or even in 24 hours?  Do our unhealthy pressures, burdens, and self-criticisms truly fit in with the larger scope of human suffering and the intrinsic need for love and peace?  It seems that everyone is overburdened, overworked, and just plain exhausted these days.  And we only have so much control of what is expected of us as far as our responsibilities at home, school, or work go.  But we can control our attitudes and actions.  We can push through the stress with a smile.  Unfortunately, when people are stressed and on-edge, they often tend to say things they wouldn’t normally say or react in harsher, stronger ways under the pressured circumstances.  I’ve been there.  We’ve all been there.  So here is my challenge for us all: we can take a gentler approach.  We all want to be happy.  We all need to be loved.  So let’s take a step back and look at the situations we’re in.  Be grateful for the good, and see what lessons can be learned from the bad.  Instead of getting caught up in the “this-needs-to-be-done-in-this-way-right-now” mindset, BREATHESmileBreathe some more.  And remind yourself why you’re here on this earth.  Why you’re pursuing your passions.  Why you are thankful to simply be alive.  Maybe you’ll even laugh at yourself a little (I’ve been guilty of that when I’ve caught myself getting too stressed before).  Don’t you always feel so good when you run into that person or friend that can instantly calm you down with the gentle way they approach you?  I think the world needs more gentleness, because in outward gentleness towards others and ourselves lies that beautiful inner strength.  That quiet confidence, joy, and peace within that makes a person shine for others.  The seed of gentleness can cause beautiful blooms of compassion, empathy, humility, and kindness to grow among the thorny weeds of stress, discouragement, and self-loathing.  So today: be gentle.  Smile at a stranger.  Take a calm approach to hectic situations.  It’ll all get done.  The sun will still come up tomorrow.  God will never be gone.  And God is love.  Breathe, and be still.  Find that gentleness, that quiet inner strength, peace, and hope and let it reflect from your soul onto the souls of those around you.  It’ll all be okay. 🙂

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