Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Are You a Soft Person or Hard Person?

"Soft nature of a person does not mean weakness. Remember: Nothing is softer than water, but its force can break the strongest of rocks." ~ Author Unknown

I remember, a couple years ago, I was at a lake on my lunch break with someone, who, for reference's sake, I was completely in love with at the time ... and as we were walking up toward the parking lot, he looked at me as he held my hand, stopped mid-stride and said, "I love how soft you are."

It wasn't said in the physical sense, it was said of me as a person. I remember being taken aback by the statement. I mean, it isn't something that people normally say to each other. But, suffice it to say, it has stayed with me ever since.

After things went awry at that time in my life, I'd slowly turned bitter ... hard, walled up, resentful. And it's taken me quite some time and a lot of internal work to break up that cluster of negativity inside and remember the woman I was then, the person he saw, the person I see more and more of these days.

In searching for a good quote to start this post out, I came upon a blog entry done by a woman named Jeannie Lovell called "I want to be a soft person." She basically took words right out of my mouth. One particular part that hit was: Soft people are loving, kind, empathetic, caring, understanding, giving and a little spiritual. Soft people see their own inner beauty and they help those around them see their inner beauty. The people they are around leave feeling good about themselves.

She also talks about how some people never become soft. Oftentimes, after being hurt or going through tough times, they become hard, embittered, opinionated, angry and lack empathy for others. Lovell closes saying, "I want to be a soft person ... I want only soft people in my life."

After feeling pain, hurt, betrayal, anger, despair ... I'd decided "soft" meant "weak." Which is why my intro quote resonated with me. I realize now, it wasn't weak. It was real and if embraced, can be one of the most powerful forces on this earth. It was me at my most genuine. I remember what I had felt then — compassion, trust, an unbridled outpouring of love, hope, selflessness and caring. That was me. 

Sure, it wasn't placed in the best hands or situation then ... and it was taken advantage of ... it's always going to be taken advantage of on some level, even by people who may not realize it. I do it to others myself without realizing it sometimes. But the point here is, that's OK. Because that was me, at my most vulnerable and uninhibited point. That was real. And the peace I'd felt then and there, at that lake, in that moment ... that is something I'd forgotten about until recently. In all the times I've been walled up, inhibited, controlled, sad, bitter ... I'd never felt that kind of elated peace. And amidst my recent mini break throughs, that statement, that moment and that feeling has come back to me.

And, like Lovell, that's the kind of person I want to be. I would rather be a soft person and make those around me feel good about themselves ... than a hard person who is selective in my empathy and bitter or cynical the rest of the time. I've had bouts with those traits in myself over the recent years. I've seen how they could impact others, hurt them. I've been on the receiving end of hard people as well. And that's just not the energy I want to feel and provide. 

One point Lovell makes, though, which I completely agree with, is you have to love yourself first and truly "see" your inner beauty and find inner peace before you can emanate that kind of soft energy. And once you do, you notice how you draw people in who yearn to feel those things ... and they begin to see it in themselves, too. You also notice how those that don't like it or avoid you or don't understand you, that doesn't bother you like it may have in the past.

So, maybe it wouldn't hurt if we all took a good look at ourselves ... and asked, "Am I a soft person or a hard person?"

Maybe our answers will surprise us.



  1. Thank you for writing this article. It made so much sense to me today.

  2. No one will ever understand you like I do, thank you!

  3. Thank you for the beautiful article.. Made my day :) <3