“The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly,” Henry David Thoreau.
This “delicate handling” is the result of developing the virtue of gentleness. Sensitivity leads to gentleness, first with ourselves and then with others. When we have developed the virtue of sensitivity, we become aware of our own feelings, motivations, and emotions, and then we become aware of the feelings of others. We realize that positive interactions are part of the flow of universal love and negative ones come from a person’s body of pain. We react to love with love and to pain and anger with gentleness.
Gentleness comes from the spirit, or the higher self, and is based on love of self. If we ask our spirit for guidance it will always respond and show us the way to care for and be gentle with our bodies. When our bodies are in harmony with our spirit, we enter into a place free of anxiety. Our heart rate slows, our blood pressure drops, the sugar and salt levels return to the optimal levels. This allow the body to tap into its source of positive energy to increase its immune system and repair damaged cells.
The first step is to know, sense, and feel the positive energy and movement of our spirit. It is always gentle. It always brings peace and inner joy. It always directs by bringing us the feeling that what we are doing feels right. If we learn to hear that gentle voice, it will empower us to eat the correct foods, exercise daily without harming our body tissues, and become aware of our abilities and limitations. It will reveal harmful practices like unsafe sex, use of legal and illegal drugs, and high risk activities. It will teach us to love and protect our bodies as a precious gift from the universal creative spirit of love.
The second step is to allow the spirit to spread its influence throughout our mind or ego. We tend to be hard on ourselves, expecting the impossible, and then berating ourselves for not attaining it. The ego sets unrealistic goals and then employs the neural dopamine pathways to achieve those goals. It uses the power of the emotions attached to blame and self-criticism to keep us pushing on towards those goals even though it may not be in our best interest to do so. This creates a constant alert state fueled by anxiety and dangerous levels of adrenaline and epinephrine.
To be truly gentle we have to silence, or rather, redirect, the self-critical voice of the ego. We do this by consciously inviting the spirit into our decision making process. It will work with the ego or the mind to reveal ways to understand and be gentle with ourselves. The ego is not the enemy of the spirit, but rather a partner and part of the soul. The spirit will always be gentle with our ego never chastising or blaming. It is always ready, when asked, to show a better way, and that way is always gentle in nature. It will never demand that it gives up pleasures or sources of joy. It will merely, gently, show how to bring those pleasures into harmony with the higher self.
Once we have achieved this harmony of body, ego, and spirit, we will then be able to extend it to others. We will be able to sense the feelings behind their actions. With love ones, we will always be able to see the other side where the ego is acting out of this nebula of pain and emotion. We will be able to respond to the desires behind the feeling rather than to the emotions of their wounded egos. We will be able to gently dissolve these emotions and redirect them to the issues causing the pain or, perhaps, just show a gentle understanding of where they are coming from and open the door to future positive interactions. Once we achieve true gentleness through “delicate handling” of ourselves and others, we can begin to enjoy the fruits of self-actualization.
Here are my five applications for bisexuals:
- As bisexuals, our life path often leads to pain and turmoil. Our natural tendency is to blame ourselves for the pain inflicted upon us. We have to be gentle with ourselves. We are not to blame for our actions brought on by our sexual orientation. There is no blame. Period. Not god, not our parents, and certainly not ourselves. The blame game only leads to more pain and suffering.
- We can be kind to our bodies. We can avoid self-destructive behavior like unsafe sex and S and M and humiliation fetishes. Inflicting and enduring pain in role play just deepens the wounds. It may provide a temporary release, but that feeling of self-abuse will just come back stronger than ever.
- Rather than abuse our body, we can love it. We can look at our naked body in the mirror and realize just how beautiful and wonderful it really is. And we don’t have to ignore the genitals which are a source of amazing enzymes and hormones connected with the passing on of life itself.
- We should avoid excessive use of masturbation. . It is seldom done gently and lovingly. There is always a connection with desperation and anxiety. There is nothing morally wrong with masturbation for the realization of unfulfilled needs and the release of anxieties, but we should always be aware that it can be harmful if it leads us away from genuine relationship.
- We can be gentle with those we love. When we see our partners strike out in anger or frustration, we can choose to look for the feelings, needs, and desires behind their words and actions. We can remind them that they are loved and that we are willing to help them meet those needs.