Tonight I’m reminded to try and go gently through the world. We are all struggling. I know I certainly am. Overall, life is amazing and I’m filled with gratitude. But sometimes I desperately need some gentleness. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don’t. I suppose that’s true for everyone.
The last few months, I’ve been more in need of gentleness than usual. A kind word, a generous deed, a thoughtful gesture – they take on even more meaning when you’re hungry for them. They help build you up when you feel depleted. Once you’re in that place, it seems there’s never enough. You reach out to people, hoping to find a morsel of gentleness, and maybe offer one as well. Sometimes your actions are rewarded and sometimes they’re rebuffed. I constantly remind myself to be kind to others whenever possible. Sometimes when you, yourself, are longing for gentleness it’s hard to find the reserves to extend it to others. But, like everyone else, I do the best I can at any given moment. We can only offer what we have to give, and no more.
I haven’t had a lot to give the last few months. My mama used to tell me that no one was pretty when they cried. Good heavens, truer words were never spoken! Shedding tears takes a lot out of a person, but it’s also cleansing. You can wash away a lot of sins with tears – if you can let go of them. Sometimes gentleness for ourselves is the most scarce.
During a conversation tonight, a friend mentioned she appreciated my Facebook feed, which is where we’re most connected. She wrote, “You are such a kind person. I’ve found myself thinking when I’m completely exasperated with someone, what would Patsy say or do.” I thanked her and told her she was giving me too much credit. I’m always pleased, but shocked, when someone mentions I’m kind – maybe because I’m privy to all the unkind things that run through my head. That happens to everyone, right?
What prompted the conversation was the death of a mutual acquaintance. I didn’t know her well, but she was always gracious whenever I saw her. I thought about how this conversation probably never would have happened if it hadn’t been for her death. As we were talking about how difficult this would be for her loved ones it occurred to me that even in death she had delivered kindness to me through this mutual friend and her sweet words.
There it was – gentleness – just when I needed it.
And a reminder – just when I needed it – to try and go gently through the world.
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