Water is the softest thing yet, it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness – Lao Tzu
Do you have a difficult person in your life, someone you cannot understand and do not want to spend anytime with?
A student asked Suzuki Roshi why the Japanese make their teacups so thin and delicate that they break easily. “It’s not that they’re too delicate,” he answered, “but that you don’t know how to handle them. You must adjust yourself to the environment, and not vice versa.”
Sometimes we get caught placing people in the “Too hard basket” instead of adjusting to, or understanding why people behave like they do.
It can be very frustrating to work with or live with people who seem completely opposite to us and yet, when we approach the situation with care and understanding, taking time to listen to their pain and needs, we may find this helps shift our relationship.
Of course, this requires great effort and patience on our behalf and this can be difficult at times, but overtime, walking softly towards those who you dislike, somehow begins to bring forth a softness in them and help lessen their hardness and pain towards you.
Some techniques that have helped me:
Listen more/Re-act less
Find a common ground in which you can connect and talk about.
Accept them as they are and accept they may never change.
Don’t accept abuse of any kind, seek support and help when you need it and walk away or let go if you need to.
Love and nurture yourself first, before you help or nurture others.
We are given many teachers in life, some that inspire, and some that challenge us. When we accept this truth, we can begin to open our hearts to see our situation differently and this helps us all continue to grow on this ever-changing journey.
“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” – Mahatma Gandhi
24 thoughts on “Walk softly with others”
Karen, I have seen this work and it’s been worth the effort, but it is so hard sometimes to take this approach. Thanks for the reminder. ❤
I agree, it has always worked for me too, but like you say it is difficult and takes a conscious effort and a lot of letting go of “my ego” ha. Thanks Diana.
This is hard work, but possible to do with an open mind, great post.
Thankyou Irene, if we all try and continue to work with others more compassionately, imagine how much peace there might be between us?
Yes I can imagine that and it sounds wonderful. Welcome to my blog 😉
Helpful techniques! I love the “the principle of softness”… thanks for sharing Karen 🙂
Thankyou Frederic for your comment, I have learnt so much from this technique about myself and others.
Wonderful post Karen. Needed to hear that today and you spoke to my soul. I’m away next week, but would love a reikei session with you when I get back. I think you may have an answer to my dilemma. Love xxxx
I’m so glad Jackie, Thankyou for taking the time to share that and I look forward to seeing you soon.
I notice, Karen, how in the comments a number of people speak about it as being hard work, I agree, it is hard work, hard, hard work, and it also gets me thinking about those times when I am hard work for others. The one thing that I do struggle with though is when you have to constantly tiptoe around someone who is just so over-sensitive and insecure that you find yourself in a constant state of tension whenever you’re in their presence. That for me becomes rather irritating.
I really like those principles you mentioned. Good sound wisdom. Great post – thank you.
Thankyou Don, I appreciate your comments. When we have to let go of our judgement and the need to be “right” it is difficult! Still if it was easy, we would all be doing it. I have found that those who are overly sensitive really just want you to listen, be empathetic and validate their needs, which of course is difficult to do all the time and yet, when we ignore them or brush them off, I find they get louder ha!
We all have to work together the best way we can and when we come from a place of compassion and love, then we all seem to respond positively.
You are very wise. What a wonderful, opening, hopeful post. Thank you for sharing.
Thankyou Vicki, you are very kind.
What a beautiful and fitting post today! Thank you so much for reaching out to my heart. Vicki also posted a link to this post on my blog today in the comments ~ I love when we all connect in a circle of love! xoxo
Thanks Yvonne, I will check it out today. I love that we are all connected too and encourage each other!
Adjusting ourselves to the environment and coming from a place of compassion is powerful Karen. Thank you for sharing this wisdom today. ❤
Thankyou so much Val, and your latest post
Is a perfect compliment to this technique, asking ourselves important questions before we make this change.
This is such a wonderful post. It is so true…I think that perhaps there is more to learn from the people we perceive as difficult or problems…than there is from those we love to be around! ❤
Very true Lorrie and as difficult as it can be for us to be challenged by those around us, I have found these are the people who have helped me grow and allowed me to find my true self. Thankyou
Your inclusion of the Japanese teacup story was inspired and will forever be my way of remembering this great truth. Thanks HG.
Thanks HG, for your comment. I loved this story too and how we can apply it in our own life.
Ha I meant thankyou Mike not HG!
Very wise…especially listen more/react less…something I need to remember. Blessings.
Thankyou and for stopping by. I appreciate your comment.