Friday, November 28, 2008

Life is Fragile

Some of the most beautiful things in life don't last. A flower, a sunset, a smile. I find that humans are the ones who tend to destroy beauty in nature. We plow down forests to make room for highways, level mountains to put up cities, and create noisy play toys to use in rivers and lakes that are otherwise peaceful. I remember being horrified at seeing the peacocks at the zoo being chased by kids who only wanted to pull their beautiful tail feathers out of them. Their parents didn't seem to think that there was anything wrong with their kids terrorizing these beautiful creatures. How would they like to be left bald because someone decided that it would be fun to collect their hair follicles? Try attracting a mate in that state!

Life itself can be quite fragile. Whether we are "losing our feathers" or just happen to be in the way of something or someone else at the wrong time, things can get broken. It is amazing how many broken people there are out there in the world. We don't always recognize them as being broken. Some are very good at masking how they feel. Some are very good at hiding what happens to them every day. You don't have to be a bald peacock to be broken and battered. Have you ever had one of those days where, for a variety of reasons, you are just more sensitive to stuff around you than usual? These are the days when meaningless off hand remarks can hurt us deeply. Nobody really means to cause us harm, they just do because we are more sensitive that day and they are not sensitive enough to know that what they are saying might sting.

We need, on days like these, to be gentle with ourselves. We need to remind ourselves that we are capable of going with the flow and that not everything in the world is directed at ourselves. We need to understand that gentleness and fragility are two different things. We might be fragile, but if we can bring ourselves to be gentle with ourselves and with others, then we decrease the likelihood of hurting ourselves or anyone else. In fact, our gentleness can turn out to be our greatest strength. When we are gentle, fewer things actually intimidate or frighten us. And when something or someone tries to, then we gently pass it by and keep going on our way. We don't have to fight or even fight back, we simply move on and leave whatever the situation is to its own self-destruction. In the meantime, we continue to grow our feathers back so that, one day, some way, we can once again fly.

Blessed Be

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Penny said...

Right on! When we are gentle with ourselves we don't allow others to hurt us. It has been a revelation to me.

Gail said...

To be, to exist in peace and gentleness within, has a powerful way of announcing itself to the rest of the world without. There is no conscious thought, action or intent - it just is.
I really like your peacock analogy. Thank you for your thought-provoking post Trent!