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BOUNDARIES: Stepping Softly

“The step that we are on is only a step to the next place, and no step regardless of how massive is ever a destination.”

~Craig D. Lounsbrough

The past several months have contributed to an atmosphere of uncertainty, confusion, knee-jerk reactions (vs responses), and a goodly amount of ‘side taking,’ no matter the ‘side.’

The more bewildered, or downright scared, people become, the Fight/ Flight/ Freeze response grabs hold. Pure primal brain. Hardwired to the amygdala. The ultimate Boundary assessor of all:  Life or death. Nationality doesn’t matter; neither does age. “Sides” become a moot point. It’s survival … the best way one knows how.  (Birds do it. Bees do it. Rats and Lions and the Monkeys in the trees do it. Humans do it, too.)

Stepping softly is not about “pussy-footing around.”  Nor are they tentative or hesitant steps. [Those appear very common in today’s emotional climate/environment.]  Nor, is it about martyrdom and long-suffering steps. Those dragging-in-the-dirt skid marks.

Stepping softly definitely is the antithesis of stomping and crushing underfoot. Over-riding, upending, overwhelming, obliterating, results in nothing but rubble. How does one step through that?

Stepping softly requires great awareness. Within and without. Conscious movement in a landscape and on a terrain that requires sure-footedness….. and Mindfulness.  Being aware of where Self is treading, in order that Other does not get trod upon through carelessness, obliviousness or callous purposefully-harmful intent.

I came across a great word that helps describe Soft Steps.  Longanimity – “a disposition to bear events patiently.”  Forbearance; patient self-control, restraint and tolerance. The word is a combination of Latin’s longus (long) animus (soul). Soulful steps. Leading with one’s Spirit and Spirituality into what may be considered “the breach” as it were.

Those who Step this way have been known to provide help that is badly needed;  do a job when there appears to be no one else readily available.  Stepping in with a kind word or honorable action. (Self- and Other-honoring.) Sometimes in opposition to the prevailing “norm,” which often changes overnight. Sometimes choosing to Step above.

To Step with grace. To Step with a type of inner calm and quiet.

There was a great commercial a few decades ago who’s product tag line was: If you want to capture someone’s attention … whisper.   Have you noticed when someone, or several someones around, is whispering, there is a tendency to quiet down yourself in order to listen? The desire to hear what is being said?

Imagine living in a manner where words and actions are performed in a manner of quiet determination, assuredness, compassionate kindness.  Stepping softly.  Always remembering that this Step is on a path forward. (Not the destination.)

That’s how longer-lasting change happens. With dreams and ideas to honor others … and everything … as much as humanly (and humanely) possible.  To listen, and take the next right step.  To discern, through thoughtful self- then other- dialogue. To build, not destroy. To help make ‘dreams’ come to fruition.

”It is imperative

that you start Dreaming again.

Within the Dream lie solutions

 to all the problems in your reality.

Society tells you to stop Dreaming

when there are so many problems to solve,

when that is precisely the time to start.”