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Being Gentle With Ourselves
Life is beautiful and ever flowing with new opportunities and possibilities. Our gifts are always within our reach, we simply need to be ready to accept them. Start where you are with what you have. Be gentle and kind with yourself and life will lead you to treasures untold. Lighten up and allow life to carry you forward.
“Let yourself be lived by it.” -Wayne Dyer
There is no perfection that can be defined to fit all human beings other than to say perfection is what you are at your very core. Many of us tend to be very hard on ourselves leaving no room for “mistakes, missed steps, or mishaps”. Sometimes, the story of our lives starts with being raised by parents that were very serious about rules and consequences. Some of us were taught that stepping out of line equated a consequence opposite of love. The sting, exclusion, expulsion, or reprimand that followed quickly taught us that we must follow the rules to be loved and accepted. Therefore, we have gathered the notion that we must be perfect, making no mistakes and appearing to be something that we are not.
"Perfection is often the enemy of greatness." -Janelle Monet
It is our inability to honor our truest inclinations that set our systems out of balance. Being gentle with yourself is allowing you to break the rules or misinterpret them and do what you feel inclined to do. It allows you to be flexible with you when you make mistakes and it allows you to express love to you. Gentleness allows you to live outside of societal concepts and be true to you.
There are many ways to approach a change in our lives. Gentle measures often take longer but are more lasting. For instance, we are more successful at eliminating habits we dislike when we replace them with habits that are more beneficial. We better learn how to improve our diets when we focus on adding more healthful foods rather than focusing on removing unhealthy foods. It is taking baby steps toward honoring our intuition.
Gentleness includes forgiveness. It is recognizing a moment that goes back to an old habit, accepting that it is a normal thing to do, correcting that, and moving forward. It is allowing you to enjoy a cupcake after a week of fruit and salad. It is loving all things about you and learning to laugh at the quirky side of you.
When you decide that it is okay to make mistakes and be you instead of some notion of perfection, life has an easier flow. When you decide that it is ok to not accomplish something in every hour of your day, and just be, you feel a moment of softening. That hard candy coating you have worn on your being will crack and the softer center that is you will come alive. You will feel your rigidity fall away; something you may not have even known was there.
As you become gentle with yourself, you will begin to notice that you have more acceptance and forgiveness towards others too. Your acceptance of people in all of their glory makes space for unconditional love.
In your plight towards gentleness, praying for the happiness of those that display actions that you disagree with is a gentle action that replaces judgment. Forgiving people that you have held long term grudges against, accepting that their actions are coping mechanisms, is a gentle action.
Smiling and speaking to strangers, holding open a door, saying please and thank you are all gentle actions that are easier to come by when you are gentle with yourself.
Being gentle to ourselves is a gift that slowly guides us into a space that is giving and understanding. It is the inspiration for living in love instead of living in fear.
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