Have you ever known a gentle soul? If you are lucky you’ve had an encounter with such a person. They seem to possess a quality of gentleness that extends to all things the majority of the time. These folks are a pleasure to be around. I find myself becoming calmer when I am with them. They don’t stand out or are easy to immediately identify because there is no fanfare about them. One clue that they may be such a person is the sparkle in their eyes. Another is that they listen and observe closely before joining the discussion or interactions taking place.
Through the years I have met a small handful of these people. Over time they shared some of their life story with me. Overwhelmingly these unrelated people had a common theme. Each one had lived through times of extreme adversity. They had been to the depths of being. I’ve heard this referred to as reaching the bottom.
We’ve been told that hard times make us stronger. Thinking about these people makes me question that old adage. What if the real purpose of living through tough times is to make us gentle? That sort of shifts perspective, doesn’t it?
Being gentle in your interactions with all of life opens you to see, be and receive so much more. These people seem to have a deep appreciation and gratitude for life. No matter what it holds; they find the silver lining in the situation. They exclude no one. I have witnessed them treating others equally and with respect. Gentleness has given them internal strength and peace. They are content and open to life at the same time.
I think something happened to these people when they climbed out of the depths. Something profound that shifted their worldview. I’m not sure I can name what that something is but I’m learning one day at a time.