Sunday, February 17, 2013

Softening The Sharpness

Pottery shards softened by the sea found during yesterday's beach walk

An accident in the kitchen yesterday reminded me how much I dislike sharp edges and points, literally and figuratively.  I was preparing a large batch of homemade soup to share with a close friend who is currently in the midst of her own challenging health battle, wanting to provide her with some tangible comfort.  As I retrieved a set of Pyrex measuring cups from the cupboard, I lost my grasp in such a way that the two smaller cups nested in the largest one fell out, shattering on the stovetop and scattering everywhere (everywhere was not an exaggeration, either!)  Instead of delivering comfort food to our dear friend, I ended up spending a lengthy amount of time cleaning up glass shards and feeling very upset with myself.  After the kitchen was back in order, my husband suggested a family walk along the beach which did help soften the edges of my mood.

How can we soften the sharp edges of life?  The sharpness of fear, of grief, of negative energy, sharp words voiced during an argument, our own sharp tongue of self-criticism?

I’ve been contemplating a few answers to this question after yesterday’s literal encounter with sharp edges and the figurative sharp points of the past couple weeks.

Deep breaths.  They soften the anxiety I always feel when my needle phobia strikes during blood tests and IV infusions. 

Thoughts of what brings you tangible comfort, like Linus and his soft blanket!  At the top of my list, creating something handmade or home cooked (yes, I will follow through on a new batch of soup and attempt to do so more safely!), family outings in nature, connecting with friends, writing, curling up with a book, warm, wholehearted hugs.

Visualizations of favorite places, real or imagined…instantly calming, soothing, softening.  Visit your favorite local places when you need soft solace from life’s sharp edges. 

Soft, quiet moments…remember to allow time for them amidst the busyness of everyday life.

Softhearted kindness…for others and for yourself.

Love…it can be soft and gentle just as much as it is powerful and strong, smoothing the sharpest edges in life.

Wishing you softness in the week ahead…