Always, after considering so much of what we should think about, watch out for and work on in our lives, I am left with the awareness of how, beyond the words, lessons and wisdom, we must also always make room for much, much gentleness. For ourselves and for others.
Because after all, everyone has so much to carry. We are all vulnerable as we face the same struggles to understand, to do a little better, to find some courage and strength so as to be able to take another step, and another.
Because we all get scared and confused at times as we search for light and wonder what to do, how to not be so afraid, how to reclaim what we lost or keep what we found.
Because we all know weakness and error, and most of the time we are so bitterly punished or else punish ourselves.
Because we all need a gentle hand, a gentle soul, a gentle voice to sing our sharp edges and tears into soft smiles, and reassure us it is ok to be human…that we are beautiful just the way we are…that we are enough…that we are loved and understood…that we are seen.
As for learning how to love, ourselves and another, like anything else in life, love is something we learn. It is a beautiful learning…for some more laborious than for others, because we don’t all have the same experiences that would ideally ease us into nurturing, a sense of safety, trust and positive associations with sharing and belonging.
But it is always a beautiful learning, a most necessary learning.
“One must Learn to Love. – This is our experience in music: we must first learn in general to hear, to hear fully, and to distinguish a theme or melody, we have to isolate and limit it as a life by itself; then we need to exercise effort and good will in order to endure it in spite of its strangeness, we need patience towards its aspect and expression, and indulgence towards what is odd in it: – in the end there comes a moment when we are accustomed to it, when we expect it, when it dawns upon us that we should miss it if it were lacking; and then it goes on to exercise its spell and charm more and more, and does not cease until we have become its humble and enraptured lovers, who want it and want it again, and ask for nothing better from the world.
It is thus with us, however, not only in music: it is precisely thus that we have learned to love everything that we love. We are always silly recompensed for our good-will, our patience, reasonableness and gentleness towards what is unfamiliar, by the unfamiliar slowly throwing off its veil and presenting itself to us as a new, ineffable beauty: – that is its thanks for our hospitality. He also who loves himself must have learned it in this way: there is no other way. Love also has to be learned.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
And then, alongside the practice of gentleness and the learning of love, we must also learn to trust our truth. And understand that when we find a beautiful calling in life… in a profession, in a goal, in a person…the resistance, fear and unease we will always feel are not signs of danger, or a warning of some destructive uncertainty that leads to unwellness.
We are not unlike seeds that once gifted with the right soil and what we need for our growth, we can finally break out of our shell…grow, rise, and eventually blossom, bear fruit. Why would a seed be afraid of leaving the earth and becoming a tree or a flower? It is only transforming and fulfilling its potential. It is changing and becoming itself, not something else.
There is nothing to fear in the connection with a path or a union, for nothing but awakening and always becoming more ourselves awaits us. Never anything less. Nothing will be taken from us, and we will not be pushed into being what we are not, any more than sunlight and rain force a rose into becoming an oak.
Through our work and through love, we can only come to know the full freedom of manifesting our creative power, discover our talents, our needs, and our endless capacity to give and receive so many precious yet simple things that create genuine happiness and fulfillment.
And so even if experiencing fear and unease when facing change is inevitable, we must learn to let them flow through us and pass. We must learn to trust the truth of what becoming more ourselves, following our heart in our work and in our personal lives leads to, however many obstacles might seem to appear or might actually be there.
Otherwise, we invite and nurture an untruth. And untruth eventually grows to the point that it takes over and corrupts our story, our future…it cages the soul. We end up lying to ourselves and getting caught up in the lies. And that is not a place any of us deserve to end up in or settle for.
“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
So yes, after words, lessons and wisdom, we must never forget to make a lot of room and be gentle, to love and then love some more…and to trust the truth that actually opens the windows of our souls to this world and to our own beautiful lives.