During this holiday season I would like to nudge each of you toward gentleness. To be gentle with ourselves is an act of grace, kindness, and love.
Coming from the Midwest, I think of the occasional snowfall on Christmas Day. It blankets the earth with frozen whiteness, muffling the sounds of daily activity and providing a cushion for the hurts that so often plague the human spirit. When snow falls on Christmas day the world settles into quietness. Gentleness.
Oh how some of us are so demanding toward ourselves, relentlessly pushing to finish the list or check off one more errand. And then there are the shoulds — I should be better, I should be more, I should do this, I should do that, I should lose weight, I should improve, I should, I should, I should . . .
If ever there was a time for gentleness toward our deepest self, it is the Christmas season. According to the Gospel of Luke, they wrapped the baby in swaddling clothes on that first Christmas Day. What would it mean to wrap ourselves in gentleness this Christmas? To accept some of our weaknesses? To make peace with some of our mistakes? To lessen the load of heaviness we have been carrying?
Take a Breath today. Christmas is less than three weeks away! Don’t panic, however, and run yourself into the ground. Instead, breath. Breath a little more. And find some time over the next few days to be gentle with yourself.