Solace for Softness

Alice in Wonderland illustration, Alice with a key, bending down over a too-small door to a flower-filled garden.
(Alice in Wonderland illustration by Hyuga Fusako.)

For when the world is too harsh and tries to rid you of your softness, some words to remind you who you are, so you will stay kind and will not lose your way.

A wooden, white door with a small, hanging flowerpot with pink flowers besides it.A hanging bouquet of pink flowers.Alice seated, blinking, with a happy expression.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, gentleness is not found in anything but that it beautifies it, and it is not removed from anything but that it disgraces it.”

"Do you ever want to run away and start over? Wipe the slate clean. Begin all over again with a blank canvas? It’s okay, we all feel that way sometimes. It doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t give your last breath to see them happy. Sometimes when we yearn to be selfish, it means we have been selfless for too long."
—Lang Leav

Artwork by TheLatestKate
Art by TheLatestKate of two goat kids nuzzling each other captioned with 'When it's hard to find kindess, I will make it myself.'

Artwork by TheLatestKate
Art by TheLatestKate of a galaxy-coloured bear sleeping with the caption 'You deserve the same kindness and patience you show others.''

People Pleasing VS Authentic Kindness by the.holistic.psychologist
People Pleasing VS Authentic Kindness

"Letting go of people pleasing is a spiritual journey. It feels so good to get validation and approval. It feels great to play a role that’s neutral, familiar, and doesn’t ruffle any feathers. It’s also a slow death for the soul— an unconscious manipulation, because we actually aren’t pleasing someone else we are pleasing ourselves by getting the false validation.

The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that to truly create your life, to be conscious, to birth something into the world that means anything means you have to say SOMETHING. You have to go within and connect to the true self— the self that whispers in a culture that screams (and mirrors back) trauma dynamics of dysfunction.

True acts of kindness come from a space of self love (which includes self forgiveness), curiosity, and a desire to uplift another because you’ve done the work to uplift yourself.

Recovering from people pleasing is actually recovering yourself."

Maybe Right Now Your Journey Isn't About Love by Bianca Sparacino (link to text version).

The point of all of this isn't to forget or ignore that there can be darkness and pain in the world, but that we can be the difference we want to see in the world and try to be kinder and hope for something better, even if it's difficult sometimes...

One of my favourite examples of that hope is actually these photographs of an old Palestinian woman who uses the empty canisters of Israeli grenades as flowerpots for her garden... Palestinians have no bomb shelters, they live under apartheid, having to pass through checkpoints with armed Isralei soldiers everyday menacing and even detaining even schoolchildren, but her little garden is of such resilient beauty. I think everyone of us needs to cultivate something like that, maybe not a literal garden, but even a metaphorical one!
... if you do prefer a literal garden, consider letting part of it run wild or planting bee-friendly flowers natural to your area for the environment's sake! ♥

Innocence by Princess Skye (she's one of my biggest inspirations, after all!)

“There is nothing more precious than innocence. It is a quality so rare, and a state so fragile that it seems like the wings of a butterfly – once touched it will dissapear into dust. We speak often of the loss of innocence. The first time we burn our fingers, or experience death, our first heartbreak. These things lead to a disillusionment with life, once shown this cruel and ugly side of the world we loose faith in love and beauty and dreams. It is fear that steals our innocence, fear of loss, disappointment and pain.

However, is it possible to recapture innocence? Once a pure white sheet is stained with blood, will it ever be clean again? It is now we must explore the difference between Innocence and Ignorance. To be Ignorant is to ignore, to pretend the big bad wolf does not exist, to block our ears to suffering and hum a tune so loud we can not hear him howl. It is not good to be ignorant, for one can not hide from life forever, the big bad wolf will find you someday.

What then is Innocence? It quite literally means “not to harm” (in- “not” + nocentem (nom. nocens), prp. of nocere “to harm.”) It does not mean that we have never felt pain or misery, rather that we are not bound to these evil things. To be innocent is to live one’s life in a way that does not cause unhappiness to oneself or others. To be free of all those negative emotions, spite, envy, hatred ~ does this not make us innocent?

Do you see then how easy it is to choose the path of innocence? Once one removes from their heart the thorns of cruelty, there is room once more for the beautiful things in life, for love and wonder and joy. Nobody else can steal your Innocence, for it is yours to create or destroy. The more pure of heart you are, the kinder the world will seem. Others will scoff at this, saying bad things happen to good people, but they have never tried it. Live your life innocently and you will be amoung the most beautiful people in this world.”

Being kind might be awkward at first if you're not used to it, but it'll come naturally over time, and you will see how it changes people and bring blessings into your life—those who are used to it know it's much easier and more beautiful a way to live! Even if it hurts a little bit more sometimes, the good outweighs the bad, and the world is a gentler place when you are, excepting only the worst of people... for those, you must learn to have very clear boundaries, so they don't take advantage of you or bleed you dry!
Kindness will always return to you because every act of good is rewarded, even if you do something good for someone who cannot or will not repay you, don't worry about it! It drives away calamities and opens closed doors. You never know how much a kind word can mean to someone... so say "good morning" to everyone, even the people others tend to ignore, like the cleaning crew at school or work, and thank everyone, even those people who are "just doing their job," they're human too and it's always nice to be appreciated!

If you have something kind to say, please say it! You might think little of it, even forget about it immediately after saying it, not knowing that by God's grace it will save someone else's life.

A wooden wheelbarrow of pink flowers.
Graphics from Alice Home.

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