It starts with you

Only one of our relationships is truly lifelong, from our first breath to our last. The one we have with ourselves. Imagine if it was characterised by compassion and warmth. By an ability to forgive, to forget our little missteps. Imagine if we could look at ourselves with gentle, kind eyes and view our faults with a sense of humour. Imagine if we could give ourselves the same loving care we give our children or other people we love without reservation. It would do us a world of good. And the divine emotions in us would thrive.

from this nice, heartfelt book which I am just finishing – Bjorn Natthiko Lindeblad, I May be Wrong, and other wisdoms from life as a Forest Monk.

Nurture not force

Once in a while we meet a gentle person. Gentleness is a virtue hard to find in a society that admires toughness and roughness. We are encouraged to get things done and to get them done fast, even when people get hurt in the process. Success, accomplishment, and productivity count. But the cost is high. There is no place for gentleness in such a milieu. Gentle is the one who does ‘not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick.’ Gentle is the one who is attentive to the strengths and weaknesses of the other and enjoys being together more than accomplishing something. A gentle person treads lightly, listens carefully, looks tenderly, and touches with reverence. A gentle person knows that true growth requires nurture, not force. Let’s dress ourselves with gentleness. 

Henri Nouwen

Who we are

Growth and transformation occur not by changing who we are

…….but as we summon the courage to be who we are.

And that means bringing our own true, vulnerable, imperfect selves out of hiding and into the world

Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment