My life motto is “paying attention and staying soft". I say it often without offering much context. I find myself explaining what this means in conversations with strangers, new friends, or people on the internet misunderstanding the intention behind a soft life.
I forget that you don’t know the journey of how I arrived at this mantra. You didn’t see the version of me growing up that could not facilitate any emotion outside of anger. I was a volcanic force of misplaced rage. I couldn’t hold tender feelings in my hands because I had my middle fingers up trying to be untouchable. That was how I knew to be safe in the world I lived in. I don’t want to be untouchable now. I want to be deeply moved and shaken by this life. When I hear about oppression I want to fall deeply into what that means for the soul on then receiving end of it. I want it to affect me and then fuel me to MOVE/CHANGE/GROW/FIGHT.
It is a privilege to live feeling through every turn because it allows me to sit in high and heavy spaces with whoever is in front of me. I unraveled myself and rebuilt myself on the foundation of tenderness and it is my life’s greatest work. Truly.
To clear the record- injustice is a fire burning in my chest. I just can’t sustain the pace on fury alone. Fury is a pointed finger that makes my arm tired and it eventually falls. Softness is a hand to hold. It looks a hurting person in the eyes and memorizes their face. You think of them in your daily work to better this world. You’ve seen it and you can’t turn away.
I am committed to softness because I am committed to live this life affected, open, and fighting for safety and resources for you and me and everyone.