Life Lesson-7: Gentleness

10 life lessons from my autoimmune disorder (ITP) that helped me brave the Covid-19 pandemic

Series on Mental Health & Mindfulness

Gentleness reflects beauty and strength

by virtue.


Greetings for the day!

I hope this post finds you in the best of your health.  If this is your first read from this series, please start here. I’m sharing some essential life lessons from my autoimmune disorder, ITP, that has helped me and can help you sail through the Covid-19 pandemic with sanity.

©Creative Lettering by Roshna @
©Creative Lettering by Roshna @

How we picture gentleness?

Well, when we hear the word gentleness, how many of us would have pictured the idea of a soldier or a person with a robust build? How many would have had the image of thorny bushes at the thought of gentleness? Rare right?! More precisely, if I were to ask you if the flower rose can be pictured for gentleness, would you think of the flower alone or the whole plant with the thorns too?

Like any other stereotype, gentleness is also misinterpreted with the ideation of being soft, flexible and always giving in nature. It’s not true. It’s ok to be soft and flexible but we must understand gentleness comes with courage and strength to build boundaries too.

Different aspects of gentleness

Pandemic has brought us all face to face with deaths, fears, incapabilities, helplessness and many negative experiences and emotions. And you may ask how is it even possible to be gentle when all we experience is harshness? Well, this is exactly where we need to look into the various aspects of gentleness. Gentleness isn’t just about being kind to others, or engaging oneself in acts of kindness or helping others. It is about allowing yourself to feel a certain way without feeling guilt, to be yourself – the person that you are. It’s about understanding no one is born perfect and embracing each other with all the flaws and helping to be the better version of ourselves. How to practice gentleness while experiences and emotions can be conflicting is all about in this post.

Perspective on autoimmune illness & being gentle

As I had told you in the previous posts too, when I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder (ITP) telling me that it has no cure and the reason for the illness is unknown (idiopathic), I had an overwhelming of all sort of negative emotions. I was like, how can this even happen when I was pretty much active, not much into eating junk, had healthy homemade food, etc. And coming to terms with my own immunity attacking (autoimmune) the healthier and vital platelets was something I just couldn’t accept.

Trust me, scientifically, it’s idiopathic (reason unknown) and there was nothing in the research papers or medical information that could help me comprehend this or accept the fact of my body going against me. In fact, it only made me bitter. But my perspective started changing after I was graced with meditation as an everyday practice in my life. The more conscious that I was about my mind and body, the better I was able to shift my perspectives and comprehend the illness.

Interestingly one of the most convincing reasons that I could relate to as a reason for autoimmune disorder came from this amazing cardiologist and author Dr B.M Hegde, who goes on to tell most of our illness stems from our mindset. In this video Dr Hegde beautifully explains how all our cells can be pictured as being in a happy state and when suddenly we start hating someone or hold grudges towards anyone, our cells are confused with the kind of communication it makes with its own cells and thereby ends up attacking our own cells. I’m at lack of words to bring tell exactly what he means. So I highly recommend you to watch it here and get back to this post.

Hoping that you have seen the video, now let me tell you how this perspective changed my approach towards the illness. I was someone not essentially hating others but was the kind of person who wouldn’t speak up for myself and rather hold grudges. I would neither get away from the person or relationship or an incident that gives negative vibes nor make peace with it. Simply put, I was being a people-pleaser. And it cost me my well-being.

The more negativity I would hold on to, the more my health would deteriorate, very much visibly. So does that mean we need to talk back or move away from people or places that bring negativity? Absolutely not. This is where one needs to find the right balance of being gentle with others while being gentle to ourselves too.

Pointers to practise gentleness for better mental, emotional & physical well-being

Here are few pointers on how to find that fine balance between being gentle towards others while being gentle to yourself too:

  • I can’t insist more on having healthy boundaries. When you have your priorities set, you are most likely to not have any time for unwanted crap. More on having healthy boundaries here.
  • Have open communication. If you have a difference of opinion, make sure to be verbal about it, politely yet firmly. Not everyone is capable of understanding silence.
  • Avoid small talks. Most of the conflicts stem here.
  • How much ever close a relationship may be, give space for the difference of opinion. The difference of opinion doesn’t equate to hatred. Think objectively and don’t take things too personally. Neither attack nor thrust someone with your personal opinions.
  • Start your day with some alone time, in silence. It helps calm the mind and consciously choose our battles better.
  • It’s not necessary to win or make a point in every conversation. PERIOD.
  • Even while being on social media, voice your opinion with respect. Remember, it’s ok to criticize a view/content but not ok to attack the person.
  • If you are in the public’s eye and attacked publicly for your opinion, just ignore it. People lack social media etiquette and it’s important to grow a thick skin even before thinking of publicly voicing an opinion on a social media platform.
  • Read more. Educate yourself to have an opinion. Never let your voice suppressed.
  • If suppressed, speak for yourself or choose to get help. Getting help doesn’t equate to weakness.
  • Learn to say NO.
  • When it comes to close relationships worth giving a chance, you have two choices: forgive or forget. But that shouldn’t mean you are being taken for granted over and again. Choose wisely.
  • Have the childlike innocence to forgive and get back without grudges or the Godliness of forgiving attitude. Choose your mental peace over anything/anyone.
  • Follow and be firm in your value systems.
  • Be careful to choose who you let inside your circle. You are not here to make friends with every single person over the earth.
  • Concentrate more on your personal, emotional, spiritual growth.
  • As much as gentleness is about the courage to speak your mind and be yourself, it is also to be able to apologize when you find yourself wrong.
  • Gentleness is being able to embrace every emotion without being guilty and be able to work on it.

Let’s all remember we are all imperfect in some way or the other. We have our own battles to fight and it will only be easier if we could be gentle to each other. Allowing yourself to experience the myriad colours of life without feeling guilty about it is a kind of gentleness.

Here’s my poem on “gentleness’ which got published recently in one of Medium’s publications.

Stay safe, take care.

Blessed be.

Gentleness is like the rose blooms

bringing joy to others

while protecting itself with the thorns.

‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’.and also part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter.


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