Tuesday morning came quicker than I expected this week. As I got my little boy ready for school, I was delicately dancing around the subject of ballet with my two-year-old.
Shall we go to dancing today?
I already knew the answer, but I was opening up the conversation to give her the opportunity to talk. I had realised quickly that tenderness was required in this season with my little girl, rather than strict rule keeping.
As we dropped her brother at the school gate a burst of inspiration came dancing forward. The Library, let’s go on a date to the Library. So off we raced, finding a park and a swing on the way. I sat down watching my daughter explore her surrounds and my heart breathed a sigh of relief, from a moment to reflect and recover.
Motherhood is overwhelming, with all the opinions and opportunities. Living a life on purpose is exhausting, constantly feeling the wrestle of my “Yes and No”. Marriage is relentless, keeping my accounts short and my love long. Friendship is confounding, wondering what is helpful or not.
Have you ever sat quietly after a season of great output and breathed deeply wondering what am I doing with my life?
This, my friend, is a regular conversation with myself and lately, my response has been a little different than in the past. I am learning tenderness. I am learning patience with myself. I am unlearning negative patterns that bombard my soul with “Not-enoughness”.
How about you?
On that trip to the Library, in the midst of searching for books about pony’s and unicorns, this little book jumped off the shelf and landed in my overfull basket. “On Living; dancing more, working less and other last thoughts.” It is the stories of those dying by a hospice chaplain and the nuggets of wisdom that facing eternity makes stark.
I turned on my lamp that evening after my Tuesday musings and opened the pages of this little offering. The theme of tenderness, enoughness and self-talk came shining through once again as I turned page after page.
“Whatever bad things have happened to you in your life, whatever hard things you’ve gone through, you have to do three things: You have to accept it. You have to be kind to it and listen to me. You have to let it be kind to you.”
On Living Kerry Egan
This quote mirrored something I had read from one of my favourites this week, Dr Rebecca Ray found below.
Things I know about healing;
Speaking kindly to yourself helps a lot.
Dr Rebecca Ray
Together these two inspirations reminded me of something I have been working on this year: tenderness. I think being tender can be seen as a weakness but I am learning it takes the most amazing discipline.
I think being tender can be seen as a weakness but I am learning it takes the most amazing discipline.
Patience is a companion of tender.
Wisdom dances close by the tender-hearted.
Friendship is grown through tenderness.
And life is slowed by a tender response.
To show tenderness is the combination of gentleness, kindness and affection. As a Mother, I pray that my children remember my tender moments. The times when I wanted to shout and scream but I chose a different way. I hope they remember, my late night kisses found in the dreary times of exhaustion. I pray my husband feels my heart move when he walks in the door and he knows his secrets are safe in my hands.
It is not the opposite of strength, it is the companion of a life lived sowed.
The tender-hearted warrior.
The brilliance of silence and empathy.
These, my friends, are my current obsession, to turn away my wrath with a tender response.
What are you working on?