Underneath most suffering is self-recrimination for suffering. We get down on ourselves for not being up and out of it.
I should be over it by now.
I shouldn’t have brought this on myself.
I should be back in the game.
I should be more…more anything but this.
And this is where the grip really grips. Self judgement wraps itself around our pain and says, “Don’t move.” It’s half the reason we can’t get out of the pain maze.
I’ve motivated myself to keep moving forward — life is waiting for you. I’ve meditated my way to remembering — Joy is waiting for you. I’ve sucked it up — like, everybody is waiting for you. Those are all useful practices, self determination is gorgeous and creative. But the most powerful practice of all has nothing to do with motivation or endurance.
The most powerful pain remedy, elixir, solution, galvanizer, waker-upper, injection of strength is…gentleness.
You don’t want to forgive? Well that’s understandable.
You need more time? I can see why you’d think that.
You just want a break? Of course, you so deserve a break. A major one.
At some point, we have to soften — which is counter-intuitive when you feel like you’re drowning.
When you’re hammering yourself for being in pain again, gentleness is actually a breakthrough.
I’ve worked hard to stay in the driver’s seat of my reality…steering clear of victim mentality. But one of the best things I’ve ever said to myself was, very sweetly — “This really sucks. Poor you.” This, by the way is how most of us would talk to a friend or a lover…you know…lovingly…in order to be…encouraging. Because you see and love them.
Being gentle with yourself when you’re praying for strength is magic-making. Because after that radical tenderness toward yourself, something amazing happens — and often sooner than you thought it could: Readiness. You don’t get “too soft”, you don’t wallow much longer, you actually start to feel your fierce strength return. Your own Love has brought it out in you. Gentle Love, mighty makings.