What are the commitments that have the capacity to enable gentleness?

1. I renounce the illusion of control and embrace the confusing uncertainty and unpredictability of life even though I feel vulnerable and frightened.

2. I choose to live in light of the reality that I am not in control of the world, or of the circumstances of my life or of any other person’s life, and I choose to be okay with that.

3. I affirm that my deepest longing is not for safety and security but for freedom.

4. I will not give away power in my life to any external force, circumstance, or person.

5. I acknowledge that feelings are ultimately chosen and I accept responsibility for the feelings I choose.u

6. In the face of discomfort and fear, I will risk being exposed rather than fleeing to the safety of the fortress that offers an illusion of security.

7. I choose to abandon the fortresses I build around my life.

8. Recognizing that I will at times find myself seeking the security of a locked room, I determine, when I awaken in a prison of my own making, to seek the open space that is always available just beyond the bars I have built.

9. I accept that I am often frightened, but refuse to allow my fears to define me. I am not my fears, my perceived inadequacies, my doubts, or uncertainties.

10. When I feel small and vulnerable, I will not judge myself, but neither will I believe that the illusion of my frailty is the ultimate truth about my reality.

11. I renounce the toughness the world seems to value.

12. I choose to listen to the message of my irritability and harshness telling me that I am feeling threatened and insecure. But I refuse to give them space or time in my life.

13. Whenever I become aware of the possibility, I will choose to move to openness and softness rather than resistance and harshness.

14. I commit to acknowledging the violence to which I so easily resort when I feel threatened and choose instead to open to tenderness even in the midst of terror.

15. I will stop and breathe before responding from that place of resistance that is so often my default position when I feel threatened or uncomfortable.

16. I will not hide. Hiding only reinforces the insecurity that believes I am at risk. When I hide, I strengthen the illusion of my vulnerability.

17. I will not silence the voice of truth that I instinctively recognize within myself.

18. I reject the lie that gentleness is weakness and affirm that gentleness is a close relative of truth and is willing to speak truth firmly and confidently.

19. I embrace the tenderness that feels like frailty but that I affirm in fact touches the centre of my true nature as a person created in the image of God.

20. I affirm that gentleness is always an expression of my true nature and that the choice to be gentle connects me more deeply with the reality at the heart of all life.

21. While acknowledging that life is always precarious and uncertain and that I am always vulnerable, I affirm that there is a core to my being that can never be destroyed. This is the truth of resurrection and the source of gentleness.

22. I commit myself to those practices that keep me conscious of the deep well-spring of being that sustains all existence. I choose to rest and trust in this reality over all the contrary evidence the world may propose and my senses may be tempted at times to believe.

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