Kind Promise: I will be tender with weaknesses.

I have been practicing being tender with weaknesses for three weeks now and I am ready to be done with it. Isn’t that the way of it? Tender and patient is fine for a little while and then I want to move on. I want to get stronger. I want to see progress.

I am glad I asked myself to lean into this promise for a month. I will learn more.

yellow and red painting of explosion

Detail of painting by kwj


During the last week we had several very hot days where I live. I am fortunate enough to move from one air-conditioned space to another, so my body didn’t have to process the worst of the heat. Still, I felt it. I was very tired and very weak. I didn’t realize how much the heat was affecting my body and mind until yesterday, when the temperature was 75° and the dew point was 55°. Oh, the world was a beautiful place! I felt energy! I felt possibility! It was lovely.

When I encounter weakness, it will serve me better to understand the size of it. On those hot days. I was sure that I was sicker than ever and that this was the beginning of a horrible 30 years. My mind inflates things so quickly and makes it all about me and my comfort and happiness. Foo.

There were some weak days (and nights) in the last week, but things changed. What if I were able to open my experience without adding stories about what it means? My moment-to-moment life would be more sane.

As soon as I say that, I realize how much I value making meaning. I love philosophizing, making life a learning experience, creating lessons. (It’s what I do every week in this space!) Would I have to give that up?

Pain comes when I darken my imagined future by indulging my monster-mind. Like a modern-day Rumpelstiltskin, what I seek to do here is to spin the straw of my experience into the gold of wisdom. If my philosophy is to reach for beauty and compassion, my stories will do that too.

I’m giving myself permission to continue to tell stories but, after giving my monster-mind some water and a hug, I will send us back to bed with a better one.