The Art of Gentleness

Good morning and happy almost-New-Year. My cat Izzy is walking back and forth in front of me, looking for pets, reaching out her paw, asking for more, so I pet her with great gentleness. She is so precious. She brightens my life.

This morning, I wanted to write about gentleness of heart, gentleness of spirit. I wanted to talk about gentleness to others as we interact with them and to ourselves as we grow and change. I feel light in my heart when I am gentle with others, when I treat them in a kind, serene and patient way.

The same goes for me when I treat myself with gentleness, with kindness, patience, and serenity. I am more gentle with others than I am with myself, as I forget a lot of the time to be patient with my progress, my attempts to learn, grow, and heal. Yet, when I show gentleness to myself, I progress further than when I am being unkind and impatient.

Bed of Gentleness

This is the image from my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. The verse is: “Oh, could we not treat ourselves with great gentleness as we go through life learning, growing, healing? Would we then be more gentle with others, too?”

How do I show gentleness to others? It truly is as simple as being kind and serene… patient with them. When I am in that space, I am quiet and assured in my heart, and that is reflected in my actions, my behavior, my words, and my tone of voice. I am relaxed and others, in turn, become more relaxed as well.

And how do I show gentleness to myself? I use a lot of self-talk with quiet, reassuring words that I am okay, that I am doing fine. I show myself kindness and patience, and I act in a serene manner. This leads to a gentler way to approach my thoughts, my behaviors, and my actions.

Do you treat others and yourself with gentleness? How does that feel for you? Leave a comment and let us know.



  1. Ah, Susan, thank you for your comment. : ) I love that you picked up on my comments about gentleness to Izzy and I love your words about how gentleness can make Macy feel safe, and that she can trust. That’s just like us humans. When we treat others and ourselves with gentleness, they, and we, can feel safe, can trust. Thank you for that valuable input. cj

  2. I am drawn to comment on this post, as your mention of your cat Izzy really is a wonderful depiction of gentleness. My new kitty Macy reminds me to treat others with gentleness and to treat myself with gentleness. As a new member of my household, she is shy, and I must treat her with gentleness in order to help her to see that it is safe here, that she can relax and trust. I sometimes neglect to treat myself with gentleness in the busyness of my days and in my quest to accomplish things. This actually ends up backfiring, because as you said, when you show gentleness to yourself, you progress further than when you are being unkind and impatient. That is so true! Thank you for this great reminder.

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