On Softness

Life demands a certain hardness of us. We experience hardship. We get lied to. We are left disappointed by people who should have done better by us.

As our skin (both the physical kind and our emotional skin) toughens, it becomes less receptive to feeling. This is by design. It's meant to protect you from pain. Less penetrates the outer layer. Fewer things can scar you.

But there is an aspect to hardness that leaves us incomplete. If you lose your ability to feel, you lose your ability to learn new feelings. You can't appreciate new experiences. You can't take in new information by touch or by emotional involvement.

This is why you should allow yourself to be soft whenever you can. Soft feels. Soft absorbs. Soft envelopes and wraps around and holds.

Hard becomes brittle. Sure, hard protects against most attacks, but hard shatters when attacked from an unprotected angle or when hit with enough force.

Soft rebounds. Soft heals. Yes, soft isn't on guard, and there's a greater chance for injury. But there's also no chance of feeling something new unless you allow yourself to remove those defenses which shield you.

And it should be noted that, while sometimes those new feelings are actually painful, there's no way to learn about them and how to handle them without letting them in. That's how we grow. Hard cannot grow and it cannot expand. Nature shows us this as insects and shelled organisms shed their skin to develop further.

Soft is not weak. Soft is stronger than hard, because it takes courage to head into new and unexplored places without armor.

Allow softness. Allow tenderness. Cry. Laugh so hard it hurts. Feel sorrow, pain, humility. They are the only way to know what happiness, bliss and pride feel like, for without contrast, there is no depth.

It may hurt, but it won't kill you. In fact, it just might make you actually feel alive for once.