Gentleness, strength and grief

dandelion “The greatest strength is gentleness.” 

 Iroquois Proverb


In today’s world, gentleness is not seen as a virtue, much less a strength. I agree with the Iroquois; gentleness is an exquisite strength. It calls us to be present, mindful and caring, the complete opposite of the hot reactor.

Gentleness is a loving gift we give to one another when we really listen and hear and allow. Gentleness speaks of attention and awareness. Gentleness is a requisite in grief. Gentleness opens the door to grief in whatever manner and form it presents itself. Gentleness sets the tone and creates the environment, be it physical or emotional, for acceptance of whatever the grief-stricken needs at that moment in time.

I think it takes practice, patience and kindness to be gentle. We have to s-l-o-w down and not run roughshod over the person before us. And it is ever so important to be gentle with ourselves as well — to tone down the woulda/coulda/shoulda’s, to stop berating ourselves for the what ifs, and to cease taking ourselves apart, bit by bit.

With gentleness, we sit next door to compassion and we can begin to heal.

And so it is.