It is in your self-interest to find a way to be very tender. ~ Jenny Holzer
The power of tenderness.
The tender skin of one touching the tender skin of another, causing an exquisite encounter, not possible in any other way.
The tender eyes that want nothing from the world, except to welcome and embrace all that generously spills into view.
The tender heart that loves simply for love’s sake, rather than for what one might get out of loving.
Some tender places of the heart can only be known in relationship, when one is willing to lay down arms, open the heart and wait, exposed.
I know the power of tenderness.
We all know the power of tenderness.
Revolution begins with changes in the individual. ~ Jenny Holzer
We already know, well, revolutions of domination, where ‘power over’ has all but brought the human race to death’s door.
We know the power of tenderness in intimate moments.
What if we were to realize that it is in our own self-interest to engage in a revolution of tenderness?
What if we were to realize that the power of tenderness is so much greater than the power of tyranny?
I, too, wonder how this might happen, how we shift from tyranny to tenderness.
Those that engage in domination and destruction stand in a perspective that sees tenderness as weakness, not strength.
But, I also know the only way to begin a revolution within is with a tender ‘yes’, a surrendered ‘yes’.
It begins with trusting that ultimately, the power of tenderness rather than the power of domination will be what saves us.
Which is the more powerful act?
Somewhere within each of us is a place that dominates and condemns – others and ourselves. This place is the most tender of places, because, it fears tenderness, yet longs to be showered with it. This place learned to dominate early. It learned to condemn and judge at an early age. When tenderness was what this place was longing for, instead it received judgment. Somewhere this place believes judgment and condemnation are the best way to be strong in an unsafe world; yet, if you check-in closely, what’s really going on is a longing to be touched with tender hands, to be seen, really seen, with tender eyes, and to be held and embraced by the most tender places of the heart. Hence, it is in your own self-interest to be tender.
We may fear being tender and loving will be seen as weak by those that continue to shower our beautiful world with hate, violence, oppression and greed. And as long as we see it as being weak, they will. When we know the strength of tenderness as a gift to ourselves, and when we see the powerful effects of the offering of tenderness to another, the perspective that ‘tenderness is weakness’ can begin to shift.
Try it. Feel the effects it has on you and others. Compare these to the moments when you judge and condemn others. Then, ask yourself, truly look to see, which is the more powerful act? Which way of being requires true vulnerability and fierce loyalty to love?
We’ve all judged and been judged. We’ve all condemned and been condemned We’ve all dominated and been dominated.We all know these experiences. What if we were to caress another’s ragged coat of life with the tender touch of one who knows these things intimately? This is the real revolution of tenderness that is poised to unfold.
This is the first post in a series of three on tenderness, power and grace. All three posts are part of the Summer of Love Invitational, where the lovely Mahala Mazerov has invited bloggers to write about loving kindness.