“We all are born with a softness, and it’s important to grow into it. Do not let the world turn your heart cold.” – page. 200, Pillow Talk, Courtney Peppernell
There were several times in 2017 during my self-reflection that I would think, I’m way too soft.
I always wished I could be strong enough to block people’s phone numbers or on social media when they weren’t a part of my life anymore, or actually stand up to people and let them have it when they wronged me. Yet, what do I do? I keep those numbers just in case. And I take the wrongs that have been done to me, and chalk it up as a lesson learned, and humans can mess up sometimes. I forgive, but forget only enough for me to not be extremely bitter and angry at the person / situation; I remember only for the lessons of it.
But there are times I wish that I could be seen as, well, sort of savage. So many of my friends talk about how I’m “too nice” to do or say certain things to people, and I cringe sometimes, knowing that they’re right about me.
I am a softie, and I always have been. I always look at situations, and try to pull the positive out of them. Most times I want to bring out the best in people, and not think of them as cruel individuals who are just out to get others, and there for themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive (I’ll talk more about this in my part 2 post tomorrow); I would just prefer to think that not all people are inconsiderate or rude.
And as my birthday was approaching, and now as the end of the year is approaching, I wondered if I should try to become a little more firm – more biting. I feel like there are times people walk all over me, and I just take it, and I get so tired of it.
But there have been several times I’ve expressed this to friends or family members, and they give me the same response Courtney Peppernell writes in the poem above: “Stay soft. Keep your sympathy and empathy. The world needs more of that.”
And even though my initial reaction was more like, “Yeah, but do we need more of that? Is it good for my well-being to be this soft?” the continuous confirmations of “growing into my softness” have made me realize how important it is to be soft. To have sympathy and empathy for other people because you never really know what other people are going through, and they could be acting / reacting the way they do for a specific reason that you don’t know about.
So, in 2018, I have decided to not get rid of my softness, but to embrace it, and grow into it more so. To be more aware of it, and grateful that I am a soft person, and there are other soft people out there. Because there have probably been plenty of times I’ve done something to someone, and their kindness, their softness handed me mercy instead of the judgment mallet.
And so I ask you: Do you think you’re too soft or too harsh? Do you need to embrace your softness, or become softer? What are some ways in which you can balance yourself in this area?
I’m excited about part two tomorrow, but I’ll end with this quote from an Instagram story from Claire Marshall that my dear friend and fellow queen Cydney Irby sent me:
“I used to dislike being sensitive. I thought it made me weak. But take away that single trait, and you take away the very essence of who I am. You take away my conscience, my ability to empathize, my intuition, my creativity, my deep appreciation of the little things, my vivid inner life, my keen awareness to others pain and my passion for it all.” – Claire Marshall