Healing (and Strength) Comes From Tenderness


We don’t try to fix a flat tire on a bicycle by beating on it with a baseball bat.

We don’t expect kittens and puppies that are kicked and yelled at to be friendly and out-going.

We don’t think the best way to encourage a seedling to grow tall and strong is to stomp on it and deny it water.

So why do we call ourselves names, punish ourselves for our mistakes, point out our weaknesses instead of our strengths and expect that we will grow, thrive, and heal?

Being tender towards ourselves, caring for ourselves, showing ourselves compassion when we are our most human — these are the things that help us grow. Handling ourselves with love, patience, and understanding, like trainers taming wild horses fresh off the prairie, — that’s how we get stronger.

I have learned in recent years that my faults, the defects that keep me from creating the work I want to do, are not flaws or failures. They are wounds…. Block, the inability to proceed, signals not a defect but a wound exposed; and curiously in our wounds lie our divinity…. healing comes from tenderness. — Sophy Burnham, For Writers Only, p. 191

Today, members of 1000 Voices of Compassion are blogging about self-compassion. To see a list of other posts on self-compassion, click here.

8 thoughts on “Healing (and Strength) Comes From Tenderness”

  1. I love this – and thank you for introducing me to Sophy Burnham. Just be kind to ourselves is such a simple idea and such a difficult thing to do.

    1. So glad you liked it. I love her book For Writers Only. It’s full of helpful and encouraging advice to creatives, including the idea that we are better able to accomplish our goals if we are gentle and kind to ourselves.

  2. It is odd, how we think punishing ourselves will create improvement. And I agree healing and strength come from tenderness.
    Thanks for joining the link-up!

  3. Wounds, yes. Often deep ones. We need to realize that we treat most everything and everyone else so much better than we do ourselves, so much of the time.

    1. It’s amazing how much nicer I am to myself when I think about what I would do for a friend in my shoes.

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