I’m talking to YOU, tenderhearted people. The tough, cranky, hardened ones don’t usually saddle up to my posts.
They find them annoying. I get it!
When I’m grumpy, feeling negative, pinched off from love and entertaining crappy thoughts, the opposite irritates.
Fortunately, I’ve trained myself to stay in the lane of good feeling thoughts, so when I step out of alignment, it feels like Spanx two sizes too small.
So back to YOU, tenderhearted people. You’ve decided that despite the knocks life brought your way, you’d roll with those punches. Instead of beating up on yourself and others for perceived failures, you overlooked them, choosing love.
You’re on your way to being one of those sweet people who just emanate the comfort of warm sugar cookies fresh out of the oven. Your presence makes those you encounter feel safe – and a little bit better than before you walked into the room.
Judgement isn’t even IN your wheelhouse. You understand that every person’s journey is different, and until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, their walk is between them and them.
I love you, tenderhearted people. You make this world lovely.
I met a tenderhearted person last week. Her name is Joanna Sanders, Municipal Clerk for the City of Port Townsend. She hired me to give the keynote at the Washington Municipal Clerks Association’s Annual Conference in Blaine, Washington (just across the Puget Sound from Vancouver.)
You know I love any opportunity to encourage people, and I was pumped and ready to go (it helped that they blared Aretha Franklin from the speakers prior to the start of the Conference.)
Prior to my introduction, though, was an invocation. And instead of a prayer, Joanna offered this reading from the play “The Time of Your Life” by William Saroyan. It touched me deeply, and I want to share it here with you:
“In the time of your life, live —
so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches.
Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.
Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away.
Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption.
Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world.
Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart.
Be the inferior of no man, or of any men be superior.
Remember that every man is a variation of yourself.
No man’s guilt is not yours, nor is any man’s innocence a thing apart.
Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil.
Have no shame in being kindly and gentle but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret.
In the time of your life, live —
so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.”
― William Saroyan, The Time Of Your Life
Only a tenderhearted person could choose such a meaningful, deep reading to open a conference. This invitation to LIVE was embraced by the crowd.
I wonder if, like me, any of the others brushed away a tear from their eyes?
The tenderhearted ones, I am sure, were a teeny bit choked up.
It struck me that we each have a choice to LIVE, NOW.
Life is precious – and fleeting.
Blessed are the tenderhearted, for they can feel – and let love IN.
More on tenderness and being in the NOW:
Ah, distraction! It is a thief that steals time; robbing us of connection.
May you steal no more these next two weeks!