I suspect there are things that will open to gentleness and peacefulness that will not open to power, that will respond to a humble question rather than an I-need-to-prove-I’m-right answer.
These are qualities that I long to express.
Richard Rohr holds out:
‘Love is not something you do; love is someone you are.’*
Anne Lamott says something similar about mercy:
‘Mercy means compassion, empathy, a heart for someone’s troubles. It’s not something you do – it is something in you, accessed, revealed, or cultivated through use, like a muscle.’**
I think that peacefulness and gentleness must grow around love and mercy, these desires that aim for relationship and communion with others. So, I suspect, they too are what I am, not what I do. What I desire doesn’t come easy.
They are cultivated through use and openness, which most likely means in difficult moments when things are harsh or conflicting – interrupting things, distracting things, when we feel we have least time. I’ve got things to do, you know. So I avoid, make my excuses. Move on. Or …
… pursue the future I hope for.
We become what we give our time to, I guess.