To Embrace Gentleness in All Things
by Mark Votava
I am going through a season in my life where being gentle with myself is important. After being tired from living by my condemning mind that wants to put on me guilt and shame constantly for not measuring up to some ideal standard I hold within myself, I am done with all of that. I now want to be gentle within myself no matter what.
- Gentleness is what I strive after
Gentleness is what I strive after, not some rough judgment from my intellect. I want my body to heal and learn to not fear what is within me. Discovering my true self will not happen without being gentle. Holding life, God, myself and others gently is what I need in this time.
- A crazy dream
I had a crazy dream the other day that kind of freaked me out. Here is the recap. In my dream I woke up to find a heavy weight on me and I couldn’t move. This scarred me so I kept repeating to myself, “The kingdom of God is within you.”
- It was all in my dream
I was afraid to open my eyes so I didn’t. Eventually I fell back to sleep and it was over. When I woke up in the morning, it seemed so real. But I think it was all in my dream.
- Trying to process the fear within me
Not completely understanding the dream I asked a couple of friends about what they thought. Some said that maybe my unconscious might be trying to process the fear within me that is keeping me from living into my true self. And as I have had lots of struggles with fear in my life, this seems like it might have something to say to me.
- The kingdom of God is within you
I have been thinking a lot about the teaching of Jesus that says the kingdom of God is within you. The kingdom of God is within you, what a profound thought! Half of the time I do not believe it or embrace it. Maybe this dream is calling me to be more open to this way of life where I believe that the kingdom of God is within me.
- Living into my depths might take too much courage
Maybe the kingdom of God within you has to do with gentleness, love, compassion, grace, joy, peace, beauty, courage and deeper enlightenment. Am I scarred to enter into a gentleness toward myself and others in everyday life? Living into my depths might take too much courage that I don’t think I have.
- A deeper inner awakening
But maybe God is calling me to a deeper inner awakening that is found in being gentle without fear keeping me from my depths. Gentleness is beautiful and full of life. In the midst of a violent society, gentleness is subversive. As a man, gentleness is looked at as a weakness because men are supposed to be strong showing no sense of vulnerability. But gentleness is vulnerable, kind, loving and compassionate.
- This gentleness all starts within myself first
And this gentleness all starts within myself first before it can be an expression to others in the world. If I cannot be gentle with myself, I will not be gentle to others in any way. Gentleness may be my salvation as I learn to value myself as created in the image of God.
How have you experienced gentleness in your life?