How? Tell me how. I am harsh even in my attempts at gentleness. 

I catch myself, at least that. While confronting that harsh voice in an intended gentle way, I am still being harsh.

“Why can’t you be gentle?” that old, old voice asks, yet I notice now and reword the attack.

“Wow. Notice your harshness. Do you deserve such roughness? Stop. Try again,” my mind talks to itself.

And I’m at a loss. This is new territory needing new dialogue I am unused to. Yet uncharted territory is so exciting and potentially life-changing.  



  1. Critical Voice: Why can’t you be gentle?!?
    The Gentle One: It’s hard for you to be gentle, isn’t it? You didn’t get that gentleness as a child. You didn’t have a gentle, loving voice caring for your little self.
    Critical Voice: No, I didn’t. Maybe I didn’t deserve it.
    The Gentle One: You know that isn’t true. At least in your head you know it. But in your heart, you don’t really believe yet, at least not all the time. It’s something you may want to keep practicing.
    Critical Voice: I’ll never get it.
    The Gentle One: That’s okay if you never “get it.” There’s so much we can’t get in just one lifetime. But with practice it will get easier. You can practice sitting quietly and observing what you feel. And then you can tell yourself, “I am feeling sad/angry/hurt/tired/lonely…etc… and it can be hard to feel that way. But it’s okay to feel that way. I don’t need to scold myself for not being done with those feelings. I carry many deep scars, and sometimes they will hurt…”
    And you just keep on observing yourself and giving yourself permission to be where you are in that moment.
    Warm hugs, Q.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. What has worked for me is to speak to and with myself as gently and lovingly as I would to any small child. I now choose to treat my little girl within me with nothing but love, I write to that little girl often as though I am her big sister looking out for her and protecting her and being that person I grew up wishing I had by my side. There is nothing more powerful than writing and making a commitment to our inner child to remind her that I will do my absolute best every day to provide her with all that she needs. Some days my best varies depending on what else is happening but it’s always my best on the day. I take time and breath to consider carefully what love would do and say, before I react and allow any power to the inner critic. Every single day, there is something I do that feeds my soul some love, just like we feed ourselves food for physical energy. It is not our fault we had those experiences as children and it is our responsibility to heal and learn from them. You have an amazing story of survival and experiences that many would agree, no child should ever have to endure. On a soul level, I’d consider it quite rich and fulfilling and as you continue to share what you do, you are not only healing yourself but showing others how they can heal also rather than accepting the life of a victim. Love your work, your writing and your honesty Patricia, I feel so very blessed to have crossed paths with you. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I often tear up at others truly deep kind responses, but rarely do they stream down my face as they are now. I will take those words and try to be soft and kind to ‘her.’ I am unused to doing so and still crave my lost friend, and even my mother to do it for me. Anyone. Because as of yet, not sure I’ve found my way to her as gently as I have to my grand-children, or even my cat.

      Liked by 1 person

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