As far back as I can remember I have always placed my bed near a window so I could enjoy the nighttime breeze. Even as a child, I remember insisting on keeping my window open at night so I could feel and smell the moving night air. In my junior year in college, my roommate and I had a large window between our single beds. We always kept that window open, even on the coldest of winter nights in Iowa. One morning after a particularly cold night, we awakened to see frost on our eyebrows and eyelashes!
Reflecting on my need, yes NEED, for that night breeze, I realized what a gift a breeze is to almost everyone most of the time in most contexts. Who does not welcome a light breeze on a hot summer day? Or a breeze in late autumn that rustles the leaves of the trees, and brings you all the scents, sounds, and sensations of that delicious season? Oh, and a breeze in early April that announces the reawakening of the earth with the arrival of spring? A breeze can be strong enough to gently push a sailboat across a lake, dry wet clothes hung on a clothesline, or clear the air of unpleasant odors like a blast of diesel fumes from a passing dump truck.
What is it about a breeze that makes it such a welcome presence? I think it is its gentleness. It is the wind when it is relaxed, unhurried, and communicative. It is wind at peace with itself. A breeze brings no harm to anyone or anything.
What if we were all breezes to one another? The world would be transformed. Most importantly, WE would be transformed because we would do no harm. The opposite of gentleness is harmfulness. Think about the damage done by gale-force winds, tornados, and hurricanes. Extremes destroy. Gentleness soothes, restores, reassures, and unites. What the world needs now, more than anything else, is gentleness.
A Course in Miracles, my spiritual platform (See A Course in Miracles), identifies gentleness as one of the ten characteristics of enlightened people because it is the opposite of harmfulness. The Course emphasizes the “strength” of gentleness. I quote,
To those who would do harm, it (gentleness) is impossible. To those to whom harm has no meaning, it (gentleness) is merely natural. What choice but this has meaning to the sane? Who chooses hell when he perceives a way to Heaven? And who would choose the weakness that must come from harm in place of the unfailing, all-encompassing and limitless strength of gentleness?
From a psychological perspective, this is absolutely true. Truly gentle people are unafraid, centered, and kind. Gentleness is a characteristic of many of our most revered spiritual teachers such as Jesus, the Dalai Llama, Mother Mary, Rumi, Ekhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hanh, Mother Teresa, and so on.
So, open the window of your psyche to let the breeze in. Let it caress, soothe, reassure, strengthen and comfort you first. Allow the breeze to envelop you and flow through you until you become the breeze–welcomed and embraced by everyone.