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  • Daniel Bernhard

RADICAL SOFTNESS


Your vulnerability made them feel uncomfortable.

How could they possibly deal with the power of your open heart, the grown-ups who learned that kindness is weak?

Shut off your feelings. It’s mandatory.

Because, you know, patriarchy.

That’s what power was about, no? Being unshakeable, stiff, soldier. Generations upon generations tried to live up to that.

How could your ecstatic, silly laughter, the radiant sparkle of your eyes, the intensity of your emotions still have so much power over them that they felt the urge to shut you off, tone you down, beat you up, constrain your natural ecstasy to fit what is still tolerable?

Tolerable in what context?

A world where strength is measured by your brutality skills, where coolness is a desireable character trait, where you disassociate in order to function. Disconnect. Rationalize. Be a man. Ouf.

Somehow the warmth inside you survived, somehow you preseved the ability to collapse into laughter, somehow the well of your tears didn’t dry out.

You met people who were surfing their emotional waves with joy, who would find nourishment in the intensity of their feelings, who had the power to stand naked in front of a whole room of ridicule and blame, wearing their wounds with pride. Dancing in soft gowns along grey streets at night.

Thanks to their teachings you stopped fearing.

You dared to stand tall and reveal your tender heart.

You even dared to smile on photos.

This time you won’t be punished for being soft. You will reclaim that immense power that is this softness. This kindness. Those gyrating, quirky movements. This loose ankle.

Armors melt.

Love is power.

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