Softness comes into the heart, in time, if we allow life to wear down our hardness, pierce the shell of civilized comforts we work so hard to surround ourselves with, comforts we pray will keep us from ever needing to look at anything uncomfortable or painful or disturbing or real. Then the first act of the soft heart is forgiveness, forgiving the pain, indeed thanking the pain for waking us up, and the real journey begins. In this sense, even the most advanced is merely preparing to begin.

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