A few months ago I was mentally stewing over a relationship that was going through a little rough water.
I practice daily meditation and have over time developed the habit of taking myself off to meditate when I am having trouble understanding an event or relationship. These meditations are different, they are more active, sometimes I call it prayer because I am actually asking for guidance in comparison to just being in the stillness of meditation.
Although, I don’t believe it’s healthy to deny and disallow our true feelings, I think giving myself that moment of distance and reflection helps me to avoid reactive, often unhealthy responses.
In my moments of choppy water I surrender and ask the higher power/s to help me see clearly so I can attempt to come from a more loving, peaceful space. I can’t name for you who my guidance comes from; God, Buddha, Mother Earth, Father Sky, the Angels, the Masters, the Higher Self, Aliens…? I am less interested in assigning man made labels to this wise and beautiful intelligence and more interested in listening to the information I receive.
One thing I do know is that if I’m quiet enough and earnest enough I do get the help I need and always a new perspective. On this day as I sat and asked ‘God’ for help I saw a beautiful image of my hands cradling a newly hatched chick. All my love and focus was on this chick and I was being extra careful to not hold it too tight and not let it fall.
I was then told that the chick is the person who I was troubled by. My job, I was told, in all my relationships is to be and show tenderness, even when (especially when) I thought it was undeserved. I was then told that every single being deserves this tenderness including me.
Tenderness isn’t a word I would use on a day to day basis, in fact I doubt I’ve used it in that context ever. Where I do use it, is to say, ‘That spot on my leg is tender’, using the word to describe pain, injury or sensitivity.
Contemplating this alternate meaning of the word Tender I realised that both myself and the other person were pushing each others’ Tender Spots and causing each other varying levels of pain and injury.
When we have physical tenderness we instinctively want to guard and protect the point of pain. We become defensive. Byron Katie says; ‘Defense is the first act of War’, I agree with this. If I am focused on my sore leg and believe that everyone I meet will hurt my leg more, then how on earth can he and I have a peaceful and healing interaction.
So that was and is my next mission:-
To treat all beings, including myself, with Tenderness. To realise that they and I have various points of emotional Tenderness that require a gentle, compassionate and peaceful hand.
Since receiving this guidance, although I am thankful that the above mentioned relationship was able to enter calmer water, I have not been tender at all times and I have stumbled most in my tenderness of self. I’m only human right!?
However, there have been times when I used that mental image of that little chick and was able to truly embody Tenderness. The rewards were profound. I was able to connect to another person and their truth, I was able to know that person in the way that ‘God’ must see them; perfect, righteous and holy.
There is no greater gift than looking for and seeing this light in another person, animal or plant. It reminds us that we are also that light.
Big bear hugs to you my friend xx