“The Gentle Way is Best”

by Dr. Larry Morris

T.S. Eliot said, "We are only undeceived of that which deceiving can no longer harm," meaning we are free from our illusions when our illusions can no longer cause us problems. Tagore said, "All of my illusions will burn into illumination of joy." Yet we are so afraid of making mistakes or of being deceived or of doing the wrong thing. We tend to blame ourselves and torment ourselves for things we've done or haven't done, and many times, for things over which we really had no control. Perhaps one resolution that each of us can make is to decide to be less hard on ourselves. Perhaps deceptions and illusions are harmful to us only as long as we are self-lacerating, blaming ourselves for all the little faults we see in ourselves. The way of compassion and self-gentleness releases us from a harsh and judging mind. As Kierkegaard pointed out, the Biblical admonition to love others as we love ourselves affirms that we first must love ourself.