Companion Blog Post
October: A Month of Gentleness
Concept Week 2
Write Your Life With Grace, Fruit of the Spirit Guided Journal (October, 2016)
Character Concept: Gentleness loves people just as they are.
One of the most powerful yet underrated character traits is the ability to validate. Tolerance is a tossed-about word, used as a flag to position one’s self as having arrived at a higher level of being. It looks good on our soul resume, but do we engage and love gently the people we live with, the people who are different than us, or the people who annoy us? Do we withhold saying “Namaste’” to people we don’t agree with politically, socially, or religiously?
The dancer at a strip club; are we gentle enough to love them as a human being without shaming and judging them for their chosen paycheck? The homeless person on the street; can we love them through their chaos without shaking our head and assuming they want to be there? The business man or woman who is arrogant; can we love them by looking over their insecurities? The family member who is ill; can we love them without complaining of the extra load we must carry? The person who grumpily walks into the kitchen, their black-cloud in-tow; can we be gentle in return?
Gentleness requires that we love people before they clean up their life, before they believe like us or look like us or behave like us. Before, anything.
What kind of character asks a person to change to shiny, clean, and acceptable before it can gently extend love? A hurting one that is carrying around baggage of its own.
What we don’t understand is that the soul operates like a magnet; the polar ends repel each other. Opposite systems cannot inhabit the same space at the same time. Fear and trust are opposites. Judgement and compassion are opposites. Bitterness and peace are opposites. Arrogance and humility are opposites. Selfishness and generosity are opposites. Our souls attract one and repel the other; we treat people out of what we attract.
The soul is deep and we alone hold the key. Emotions and belief systems don’t arrive uninvited; we fill it with what we choose daily.
Love is a choice and a pre-requisite for gentleness. It requires that we put ourselves aside. Love is not about us. It requires that we stay above the situation and not crumble when we encounter different or difficult. We are all equal. No-one is any better than anyone else, regardless of finances, social position, occupation, or ethnicity. We are all equal.
The way to love without losing your own soul is to clean up your own soul. Get rid of un-forgiveness. Get rid of insecurities. Grieve the pain and the losses in life. Get rid of the need to impress or measure up. A pure heart loves purely; it doesn’t take effort, it happens organically.
Every human being is just passing through earth on his or her way to eternity. Gentleness is a character trait because it requires us to get over ourselves and validate a human soul that is wrapped in a different story than our own. It requires us to put aside the quick assessments we make when meeting each other. Gentleness is a hand-shake, an offer of help, a quiet tongue, an erased agenda, a change in the schedule with a peaceful heart. Love is a choice.
“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears Him and does what is right.” –Acts 10:34-35
–Tara Schiro is the author of the newly released, Write Your Life With Grace, Fruit of the Spirit Guided Journal (October, 2016, Xulon Press), and No Arms, No Legs, No Problem, the memoir of bronze-medal Paralympian (Quad Rugby), Bob Lujano. Both books are available on Amazon.com, Ingram, and Barnes & Noble. TaraSchiro.com