In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit. Anne Frank
An old fable goes that a lion was roaring night and day, terrorizing a village. One day, a shepherd named Androcles heard whimpering in a cave, and found the lion in pain. He removed a huge thorn from the lion’s paw, thus creating a friend for life. Androcles approached a raging beast with kindness and tenderness.
We all deal with difficult, coarse, rude and otherwise challenging people in our lives, which can cause us great distress and harmful cortisol releases. We must take command and control and protect ourselves from this toxicity. How does Androcles help us?
There is compelling evidence that if a person has had more than 4 adverse childhood experiences, (such as trauma including abuse and neglect) they are up to 30 times at risk for a wide range of health and behavioral problems throughout their lifespan. A full 85% of the US population has had at least one. Take the assessment yourself HERE. This is not to suggest we accept bully behavior, rather, as a first response and to protect ourselves, we dial into our humanity and approach with tenderness. When my clients stop fighting with themselves and incorporate self-compassion into their life, that’s when real change begins. So many of us are in pain and have our own thorns. A beautiful video to remind us of these thorns is HERE. Androcles shows us that “tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution,” as said by Kahlil Gibran.