You are Allowed to be Tender, Too

You are Allowed to be Tender, Too

When you have done
all you can do,
and the only thing left
is to keep breathing through,
taking this moment to process
is enough.

The hours will go on,
and in time, the clouds will open up.
You will slowly learn to trust:
you do not always have to be
the strong one.

You have found that rest
does not come easy.
It comes long and slow
over high mountains of worry.

You hardly slept at all last night.

And now, you feel the weight
of a pending dawn
slowly lifting over the plains.
There’s tension in your shoulders
from carrying the strained hope for change.

Be kind to yourself,
for yes, even here, you are worthy.
There is a lot to do and this is also true:
the body needs moments, unhurried.

Beyond your anxious thoughts
remember the bridges
already crossed.

Remember the mountains
we have climbed
one century at a time.

Remember when James Baldwin said,
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.”

Remember the history
beyond the present mystery.
Remember the ones before us
who traveled unwillingly
over unknown seas
not knowing the struggle before them.
Remember the journey through the fields
and over the deep river.
Remember the “unspeakable joy,” that rose up anyway,
as Barbara A. Holmes would say.
Remember all it took for you to be here
and then allow your shoulders to soften,
a simple act, forgotten
far too often.
Yes, you are strong,
but there is also
what @drchanequa spoke of,
and that is, this “burden of strength.”
Please remember this.
Embrace gentleness.
And as Walker-Barnes writes,
seek "protection and care."

you have been so strong,
and you are also
allowed to be
soft, and tender.

for the human soul
is the quality
of accepting:
your softness
does not keep you
from being whole.

Keep breathing through.
For in this particular moment,
you have done all you can do.
Keep breathing through.


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