I look outside onto the ice covered streets. I can almost feel the harsh air brushing my cheeks. I feel my feet slip in the snow, and I seek out gentleness.
I turn on the news and I see hatred and violence. I hear all the yelling and pick up on almost zero listening. I see the effects of a broken world screaming forth from my screen, and I long for gentleness.
And I look inside, and I feel the bruises, and I see the tentative scabs barely holding on. I feel the world rushing at me and sense very little within myself to ward it off, and my soul absolutely craves gentleness.
I always approached the world head on. I would leap with abandon, run in with eyes closed, insist on being a part of the fire.
I fought and I protected and I refused to cower in fear.
And now all I want is a cup of chamomile tea, soft lighting, a warm blanket, and some yarn.
I close my eyes, and I dream of soft landings, of open arms, of quiet words. I dream of listening and receiving and banishing the need to the heard.
I can’t create peace, and so instead, I seek gentleness.
Every year, I choose a word to guide me. A mantra of sorts. Something to direct me when I feel directionless.
And for 2016, I choose gentleness. Both toward myself and toward the world. Because when we don’t know exactly where to turn, gentleness usually won’t guide us astray.
Girl with puppy photo available from Shutterstock