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.


Published by

Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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.

      Liked by 1 person

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