“Our world overvalues productivity and others’ opinions, so we learn to ignore the messages our bodies are giving us — through our emotions and physical sensations — and instead push through our pain and pretend we have it all together. Trying harder helps us feel safe in areas of our lives that may have felt overwhelming or out of control in the past.”- Aundi Kolber
Aundi Kolber concludes her Introduction to Try Softer as she observes that our culture wires us to overfunction. As a result, we fail to recognize our stress, trauma, or exhaustion until we face dire consequences. At that point, we may find ourselves depressed and disconnected. Because we’ve been worn down to a nub from our anxiety and adrenaline.
However, Aundi underscores, she’s not asking you to find the silver lining in your ‘hard’. Certainly, you know that God’s with you through it all. But, that doesn’t mean life hasn’t cracked you open. Or that you haven’t cried many tears or spoken to yourself in a demeaning manner. Yet, although none of us receive immunity from pain, it’s possible to emerge from survival mode and actually live. God created us for this.
Therefore, Aundi notes, trying softer:
- is the path that leads to true connection and joy
- begins when we mindfully listen to what’s on the inside of us and allow that to influence how we look and act on the outside
- is an intentional shift toward compassionate respect of our own experiences and needs
- isn’t a one time event but a way we learn to be with ourselves
Finally, the author stresses, this work comes with a cost and makes you vulnerable. Yet, Aundi exhorts:
“I want you to know what it’s like to be fully alive — not because you’ll be perfect or because it will be easy, but because this is what we were made for: a living, breathing, moving, feeling, connected, embodied life. This — all of this — is your birthright. This is the ‘try softer’ life.”
Today’s question: How do you feel the fall out when our world overvalues productivity and others’ opinions? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Personal growth – a journey, not an event”