GENTLENESS IS STRENGTH
Think about it. Does it take strength to be gentle when you are angry, stressed, rushed? In my opinion it does. When we are angry with our spouse, our children or any other relationship in our lives and our emotions are dictating our speech and actions, we are generally anything but gentle. I would also say this is pretty normal. What if we pause and intentionally calm down and treat the situation with gentleness. Gentleness does not mean we are a “door mat” or allow our children to have their way; it is just the way we deliver our message. If we are screaming at another, all they hear is anger and a feeling of separation from us. What about when we are stressed or rushed? Our bodies are all tightened up, jaws clenched, fists tight and hearts pounding. One example is in traffic. When someone gets in front of us in our lane, our hearts start racing and our blood pressure goes through the roof. It does not affect the other driver one bit, but your emotions are rattled and changes your mood. If we can strive to be strong and in charge of our emotions and take a gentler approach, it will benefit us and our loved ones.
OPPOSITE OF GENTLE IS BRUTAL
While focusing on this topic over the past week or so, I have taken note of this word. I like to look up words in the dictionary and see what their synonyms are to broaden my vocabulary. Gentleness definition is 1) the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered; 2) softness of action or effect. The antonyms are: brutal, cruel, vicious, ferocious. When we look at those antonyms and think about the emotions those carry, it is apparent that gentleness is the better road.
GENTLENESS CALMS THE GIVER AND RECEIVER
When we choose gentleness instead of being rough, angry, and loud we are helping ourselves as well as those that in our lives. When I am angry and frustrated and don’t control my words that fly out in the heat of the moment, feelings get hurt and I feel terrible about myself. It is a cycle when we go down that path. We feel guilty and the one we were harsh with feel unloved. Life is so short and there are going to be times when a true trial occurs that we have to deal with and there is no need to waste our energy getting upset about the things that are not truly important. Think about what kind of people you want to be around; a gentle spirit or a brutal person? What kind of person do you want your children to be friends with and even someday marry? Gentleness is considered to be wisdom from above in the Bible and is a strong characteristic we should strive for. (Galatians 5:22)
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
GENTLENESS IN FITNESS
Gentleness can and should even be used in fitness. I am a runner and have not always been able to run. As a child, I was severe asthmatic and pretty much sat with the teachers during our running days in P.E. in school. As an adult, I grew out of the severity of asthma and wanted to run. I hated sitting out as a child and feeling like the weak one. I started out walking 8 steps, then jogging 8 steps for 30 minutes. Next my daily walk/jogs were at the high school track near my house and would run the short ends and walk the long ends. Slowly, I ran a lap, walked a lap. Soon I was running a mile, two miles, three miles! Now it is my passion and helps with stress and is the best time for clearing my head as well as discipline in training to do half marathons each year. With all that said, I often read tips on running and how to improve. Many articles explain how we need to “relax” when we run. Relax the jaw, relax our fists, and get in to a rhythmic, graceful stride. When we have tight fists, pump our arms, clench our jaws, it is wasted energy that our body needs to keep running. It is the exact same thing in life. When we use all of our energy being angry, loud screaming, stressed instead of a gentle spirit, we have no energy to dedicate to the important events in life.
“There is nothing so strong as gentleness. And there is nothing so gentle as real strength.” Saint Frances de Sales
Pictures from Mom’s Day weekend with our girls.
Hazel Faye and “Grumpy”.
My sweet daughters, Rachel and Molly
Four of the five; Audree, Ruthie, Ivy, and Hallee
I love to run and run to stay healthy. After cancer, I started running more and run a half marathon every year. My philosophy is “It is me vs. me.” I try to avoid getting caught up on how fast my time is, but do wish I was faster. Most importantly, just thankful I am healthy.