Only Love Today: My Vow to Soften

By being softer you can hear more, learn more, feel more, and love more.

I’ve had enough of my hard edges.
I’m tired of straining my voice.
I’d like to loosen up and laugh a little more,
be positive rather than negative.

I’d like to feel the upward curve of my lips.
I’d like to surrender control of things over which I have no control.
I’d like to let things unfold in their own time, in their own way.
I’d like to participate joyfully in this fleeting life.

I’d like to be softer
toward him,
toward her,
toward myself.

Thus, this will be the year of my softening.
And this is my vow:

I vow to listen to opinions. I don’t always have to be right.
I don’t always have to agree or have the last word.

I vow to hand over the hairbrush, the pile of laundry, the school project, the task before me.
“How would you do it?” I will ask.

I vow to step aside and respect a new approach.
Success might be difficult to see at first; I vow to keep looking.

I vow to be more accepting of quirks and mannerisms.
I vow to be more accepting of tastes and styles unlike my own.

I vow to remember he is in the process of becoming; she is in the process of finding her way.
And they are more apt to do it if I stop telling them how.

I vow to regard “weaknesses” as hidden strengths.
Inner gifts can be nurtured when I stop plotting ways to alter, change, and “improve.”

I vow to greet my family — and myself — with a loving smile, no matter what happened yesterday.
Grudge-holding only hurts us all.

I vow to pause before correcting.
I will take a moment to consider if the mistake even needs to be mentioned at all.

I vow to stop nitpicking until it bleeds.
I vow to demand less and inquire more.
I vow to listen,
consider,
and expand my thinking.

I vow to be a voice of encouragement in a demeaning world.
I vow to be a silver lining spotter in my family’s little world.
I vow to be softer today than I was yesterday — a softer voice, a softer posture, a softer touch, a softer thought, a softer timetable.
I vow to be softer toward the imperfect human being inside me and the one beside me.
By being softer I can hear more, learn more, feel more, and love more.

At last I will fully see I will see his colors.
I will see her colors.
I will see my colors.
Perhaps for the very first time.
The colors might take my breath away,
bring me to tears,
or offer long-awaited peace.
I will soften in order to illuminate the colors of the soul
I will soften so the human being within me and beside me
can shine.

Today’s Reminder

It is not always possible for me to choose love in the midst of challenging situations, but I can definitely try to soften — soften my voice, my touch, my opinion, and my timetable. Even a little softening goes a long way to bring peace to the situation. Today I will celebrate each time I soften when my first instinct is to harden.

Excerpted with permission from Only Love Today by Rachel Macy Stafford, copyright Rachel Macy Stafford.

* * *

Your Turn

If we don’t decide. If we don’t determine. If we don’t vow to soften, we will harden. Hardness creeps upon us without us even being aware, doesn’t it? In Psalm 51:17 King David says, “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart You, God, will not despise.” May we pray the same today: Jesus, we offer You our hearts in confession that they tend to stray from Christlikeness. Help us to be soft like You, and broken with love for You and for those around us. Come join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear your thoughts about choosing to only love today! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full

Only Love Today

Only Love Today
Rachel Macy Stafford
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Rachel Macy Stafford

Rachel Macy Stafford is the New York Times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama and Hands Free Life. Her latest national bestseller, ONLY LOVE TODAY, offers soulful, bite-size encouragement for busy individuals yearning to anchor themselves in love and connection despite everyday distractions, pressures, and societal discord. “Only Love Today” began as a mantra to overcome her inner bully, but it is now the practice of Rachel Macy Stafford’s life. It can be a practice for all of us with Only Love Today. Join this certified special education teacher, author, and speaker and her supportive community, The Hands Free Revolution, for more inspiration and strategies to live better and love more.

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