Updated: Jun 14, 2022
When you’re hard on yourself you need to take a step back and learn how to be gentle. Understanding how the pressure to toughen up can negatively impact you will change the way that you see life and yourself. Here is everything that you need to know.
Being Gentle With Yourself
The amazing poet Rupi Kaur once wrote,
“to be soft is to be powerful.”
There is nothing more truthful than these words. Despite this fact, society has abandoned this concept without a second thought, opting to correlate softness and gentleness with weakness.
How many of us have been told at some point in our lives that in order to survive in this world we must be tough? As someone who has struggled with this harmful mentality since the beginning of high school, I can confidently tell you that constantly forcing yourself to be tough is far more harmful than being gentle.
Being tough taught me to dismiss my feelings, it kept me in a perpetual state of breakdown and gave me a sense of paranoia that the world is out to get me. It was only several years later that this mentality broke me and from this point, I was able to learn, grow and rebuild myself into a gentler version of myself.
The new me is self-honoring, self-respecting, and overall kinder to the light and darkness within. There are lessons to be learned regarding gentleness as it should not be seen as a weakness.
The Struggle Is Not Required
Society seems to have an obsession with ‘the struggle.’ We thrive in our own re-enactment of the ‘American dream’ here in the Western world. We long to see individuals climbing through the trenches and coming out victorious on the other side.
The goddamn movie industry feeds off of this idea! Hustle culture has capitalized on this notion. “Grind all day every day,” ‘I’m building a brand,” “I’m always busy,’ - many of these buzzword-filled phrases are churned out from the mouths of motivational gurus claiming being successful requires you to physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually drain yourself.
We see the struggle as a badge of honor that we wear with the hopes of one day boasting that we’ve finally ‘made it.’ Once we have ‘struggled enough’ we can then enjoy the fruits of our labor, and only then. This false belief traps us in a perpetual state of lack, as no matter how much we accomplish, it is never enough if we don’t collapse from exhaustion.
Our ancestors did not struggle during their time for us to then go and create problems in our own lives. They fought for their civil rights, the right to vote, survived through wars and famine and made history. They did not do it for us to create more hurdles for ourselves through self-sabotage and self-hatred.
We have been blessed to live in a world that has far less struggle than others have faced in the past. We must realize that it is not our destiny to endure more pain but to enjoy the fruits of our ancestors’ labor. Continue the work of fighting systemic oppression, fighting for rights for all, and overall work towards creating a more compassionate world.
Move forward with the knowledge of your ancestors’ experiences. Thank them for their love and enjoy your life. Being gentle means that we must forget our desire to struggle and make space for ourselves to live guilt-free.
Create A Sacred Space
Being gentle with oneself begins with creating a sacred space to just be. Gentleness is not cultivated in the busyness of life, it is created in the quiet moments where you show up in the present moment and accept it wholeheartedly.
Start by being your authentic self. Be free of gimmicks and do not entertain false truths, just show up as the real you. Ask yourself, what have you not accepted about yourself in the past? What are you forcing in your life? What are you not in alignment with? The answers will show you the true version of yourself.
You must release the desire to struggle and make space for yourself to live guilt-free. Give yourself permission to live simply, to prioritize yourself, to not accomplish anything, to enjoy the little moments, to stop checking the clock, and to stop worrying about your to-do list.
We do not need to be our own worst enemy where we shout mean threats to ourselves every time we stop and acknowledge our feelings. We can make space for ourselves to be productive while also creating the perfect balance with purposeful rest.
How does one be gentle in a world that views it as a weakness? First, we must release this mindset. Our mentality is the most important thing in life. If we are shaped by views that are not in our highest good we will attract more of this energetic frequency that keeps us trapped in life. We must accept, or at least be willing to accept, that gentleness is a good thing rather than a weakness.
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Next, we must treat ourselves as a child or someone whom we love (even if it feels silly). By doing this, we separate from our low-self worth and tap into our desire to help others. The next time you think something harsh about yourself think about if you would say that to a 10-year-old. The answer is obviously no so you shouldn’t treat yourself the same way.
Additionally, we should care for ourselves as we would for others. This translates to making sure that we eat, vent in a healthy way, take enough breaks during the day, and that our feelings are valid. We deserve the same love and attention that we would give to another.
Once you have introduced gentleness on a basic level, it will seep into your everyday life as you learn to create boundaries with yourself and others, adopt a healthy work-life balance, and do shadow work to process trauma.
The road to gentleness is anything but gentle. We must break through the mentality of struggle, create a sacred space for ourselves, and finally, be willing to create the change we seek. You have to remember that what we put out into the world is what we get back. To see a more compassionate world, we must be more compassionate with ourselves.
If you are looking for a guide to help you during your healing journey, I am here to help. The best place to get started is by downloading my free guide called “the 5 Stages of Unlocking Your Higher Purpose.” This no-commitment guide will give you a rundown of what a spiritual awakening looks like and give you actionable advice for your next step. Download here now.