for what is tender


Demanding too much of ourselves leaves us less sensitive to our bodies and hearts. When we stop listening to what we need, we become disconnected and alienated from ourselves. This creates patterns of repression and denial that can lead to our turning away from the needs of our deeper being and leave us feeling unsatisfied, unhappy, or depressed without quite knowing why. Becoming aware of how we push our limits is an important way to recognize when we are out of balance. Noticing our response to our own limits helps us understand any unhealthy patterns we may be reinforcing, and can teach us to listen and respect our body and its needs. When we accept our limitations with grace, we can walk in harmony with our body and heart and the world around us, no longer at war with ourselves…….Mark Coleman

there’s this place we come to when we risk to see, and it’s never quite how we imagined it…….stark, bare, full, and remote all at the same time……all flaws and joys the same……..these limitations are not really limitations……what are they?……humanness……

When medieval monks were asked how they practiced their faith, they would often reply, “By falling down and getting up.” And there you have the whole muddled mess of being human. Over and over, this very humbling sequence returns us to the earth, to the humus, to the soil. try as we will to escape or transcend the imperfection of being a spirit on earth, it is through this wonderful friction that we come to know God. How we think about this matters. For falling down is not about failure, but about experiencing as many of life’s positions as possible. It is how we learn. The truth is that we can’t avoid falling down and getting up, any more than we can avoid forgetting and remembering. It is how we integrate, one experience at a time; our human with our being…..Mark Nepo


If you want to be a complete human being, if you want to be genuine and hold the fullness of life in your heart, then failure is an opportunity to get curious about what is going on and listen to the storylines. Don’t buy the ones that blame it on everybody else, and don’t buy the storylines that blame it on yourself, either…..Pema Chodron


6 thoughts on “for what is tender

  1. There are seasons in living, a world ever turning, and returning. The trees in the forest rise to worship the sun, even the Sequoia falls back to the earth, to enrich the soil with the memory of the life it knew …

  2. “All flaws and joys the same…humanness.” I love this! Sometimes I forget that I am really only “human”. Sounds silly, but it’s true…thanks for reminding me! Blessings 🙂

    • oh, it’s the head forgetting about the heart, the soul, the connectedness isn’t it? and we do it again and again……and we come to each other to remind us again and again….

  3. The Mark Coleman quote speaks to my condition. I criticize men my age for not accepting limits and endangering their health, but the truth is I have a terrible time accepting how long it takes to do anything and how quickly I get exhausted. I’ve always focused mostly on spirit, not body, and now I am paying for it.
    Sheer desire just isn’t enough anymore. How humbling, but potentially freeing.

    • oh, so raw and real Eileen…..and again, it is us, not just ‘you’…….we fall down and get up as the monks say…..blessings…..

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