In a cold, harsh world, I need to give myself permission to be gentle with myself and then to follow through with it. The judgementalism, superiority, conflict, and contention in the world today sometimes seems more powerful than the ultimate and timeless reality that we are all created by a merciful and loving God. In light of that reality, I hereby give myself permission to be gentle and kind to myself. I allow Carol to make mistakes, to fall short or even to fail sometimes without the inner diatribe of how awful, useless, and not enoughness that I barrage myself with all the time. I am not a failure and I am enough. Oh, how my mind revolts when I write those words. Ever ready to take them away and replace them with condemnation of everything that I am. I will be gentle with even that part of me because in the absence of an abuser, I abuse myself.
So, Carol, what does compassion and kindness towards oneself look like? I forgive you. I love you. I want you to write your soul and to walk away from the voices that condemn you and are anything but gentle. I encourage you to simply BE in your love, in your compassion, in your kindness that you give so freely to others but anorexically deny yourself. I understand why you have not written in so long. You were so busy trying to prove your right to exist. You have been working so hard to show that you are capable and where does creative writing fit into that?
I believe in you! I believe in myself. I will be gentle and compassionate with me. I will write again and not worry about how good it is or how it compares with others for my voice is just that… my voice.
This is an exercise from For the Writer’s Soul by Melanie Steele on being gentle with oneself.