“Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.” Washington Irving
During my first marriage, I wasn’t a Master Life Coach. I was in corporate marketing, and I was an overachiever, constantly searching for that next promotion, that next job, or that next big project. There was almost nothing I couldn’t accomplish by working harder or attempting more effort, control….force. I was far too preoccupied with making my life look picture-perfect to actually live it. I survived on ego-candy and brought that same controlling energy home at night. You can imagine what that did to my marriage…..
Now, so many years later, I still find that old way of work harder, no pain / no gain, push through creeping into my life at times.
It will show up in trying to run my business that I love, just as quickly as it will show-up on the yoga mat. (My sweet yoga instructor is often telling me to soften the muscles in my face as I try to hold a pose for far longer than I’d prefer).
And because I can do a lot and get a lot done, I actually have to make the effort to step-back and leave space for other people to do things for me – especially in my most important relationships. I have to allow others to care for me, particularly my husband, Derrick.
I was on a trip a few months ago with my best friend, Traci, when we met a lovely mother and daughter who were from Louisiana and traveling together. Their husband and father, respectively, had passed away three years prior. The four of us became fast friends and I asked the daughter what she remembered most about her father from when she was growing up, and she told me that he used to always tell her, “Soften up, Baby.”
What he meant by that was that she was too hard on people; she expected too much of others and of herself; she pushed too hard and forced too much. So Traci and I proceeded to spend the rest of the weekend telling each other to “Soften up, Baby,” in our best Cajun accents.
It was a good reminder.
We don’t have to try so hard.
We don’t have to push or to force things to happen.
We can allow ourselves some softness in our lives and in our relationships.
The next day after that conversation with the daughter, I hopped on the phone with my client Lynne for our coaching call and she said, with no prompting at all from me, “I feel like I’ve hardened myself to the one person I need to be soft with…my husband.”
There was something divine about that exchange and about the timing of that message from a father who clearly had plenty of wisdom to impart to the souls that genuinely still needed to hear it.
Where do you need to soften in your life?
Who do you need to soften to?
Soften up, Baby.