Compassionate action starts with seeing yourself when you start to make yourself right and when you start to make yourself wrong. At that point you could just contemplate the fact that there is a larger alternative to either of those, a more tender, shaky kind of place where you could live.

Pema Chödrön

Some of you may have noticed (or are regularly visiting) our Practice Space where we offer a Daily Question to enhance grateful awareness. Each day we are moved by and learn from the responses that appear. The reflections are joyful, poignant, subtle, poetic, loving, generous, sophisticated, playful, vulnerable, and, of course, infused with gratitude.

We offer the following selection of responses to one of our recent Daily Questions. May these reflections serve to open a doorway to gratefully loving the world and finding ways to live accordingly.

How can I honor the tenderness within me?

“I sometimes feel ashamed of my more gentle attributes. I can honour my tenderness by responding to the world with compassionate authenticity, and with zero self-judgement or shame.” ~manasicaje

“In this body there are so many of me: from the child, the teenager, young adult and so on. Sometimes when I am still or caught unawares I get a glimpse of those I once was and I glide onto a tenderness, witnessing a love for this person, particularly if the person was a bit downtrodden by an authoritarian ego in the past.” ~Malag

“By letting it shine. Too often I go through my daily life with this hard exterior. I need to allow myself space to be vulnerable— it’s ok to care …. it’s ok if I don’t quite understand how to express that because of my upbringing. There is still time to learn how.” ~Lauryn

“Perhaps be a little bit less of a drill sergeant in regard to the inside voice LOL. My internal dialogue can be harsh and biting. I know how to push my buttons. So easing up a bit.” ~Howard 

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“Breathing in and through. Accepting the tenderness as a valid part of me. Practicing kindness and compassion helps too.” ~MelaD

“By recognizing that it exists. By continuing to practice it regardless of outside pressures from others to the contrary. By expanding its reach to some that I previously might have neglected or even shunned. By understanding that it is an integral component of the love that we are called to offer to all our neighbors in this broken world in which we live…” ~Samuel

“Taking time, acknowledging boundaries, treating my body with love and respect.” ~Sarah

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“I seek to remember tenderness is both fragile and strong, depending on intent. As I am a mirror reflecting other mirrors, I honor the tenderness within me by sending tenderness to all manifestations.” ~Present Moment

“If by “checking-in” with myself to feel where I’m at a particular moment qualifies as honoring my own tenderness, then I feel that I do this regularly. Be it self-talk or gentle self-questioning, the net result is that it gets me to pause and focus on where my head and heart are within that moment, which in turn helps to map my way forward in both actions and speech.” ~Kevin

“Recognizing and allowing the tenderness to be fully what it is: tender, and longing to be held and treated with gentleness. We do that with an infant or a pet; the tenderness within us longs for that same gentleness.” ~Patricia

Photo by Pietro Schellino/Unsplash

“I remind myself that I will fight, flee or freeze if I’m not willing to face, feel and heal. I have learned that I do not have to do this alone. There is a part of me that has never been afraid and I can call it forth and let it silence my bully and hold my little child tenderly…. Healing, tenderness, trust comes from within. It is a connection with source. I often use the mantra: “Relax and Release.”I see my job as willingness.” ~Carol

“By being kind to myself, offering words of support and love. Also by giving that kindness, support, and love to all I encounter. We get what we give.” ~sunnypatti

“When touching something, touching it caressingly, when feeling or sensing, allow tenderness, and when thinking, being kind also. Any encounter can be a tender moment! “~Ose

“I really don’t know… I know how to challenge myself, I know how to forgive myself… .I know how to eat well, exercise and when to say no… hmmm this one will need some reflection! It could be when I am being grateful because a softness, a tenderness then seems to arise… so perhaps when I am in a state of gratitude!” ~Cheryle

Community Reflections