Just last week I had the chance to interview one of our TeamHOPE members, Cammy Cadwell.
She works closely with our clients at the shelters and is the reason we now have a focus on Veterans Resources as well since she has a military background. During our short video she shared with everyone listening what inspires her about being a part of the HOPE mission and while it would be nice to write the entire article about what she had to say, I was moved by a phrase coming at the end of the video.
Cammy said it felt like an honor to offer our clients
a ‘soft place to land.’
Can you think of a time you had challenges in your life and experienced a soft place to land? Maybe it was sought out in a friend that you know understands you…maybe it showed up unexpectedly in the form of resources that met a challenging need. Maybe the soft place to land came about because you gave yourself a break from all the demands or even self- judgment.
And maybe the soft land did not show up and you found yourself having to persevere from a place that felt lonely or bereft of support.
Whatever story or example that might be coming to your mind it shines a light on how powerful having a soft place to land can be in life.
What might be some of the qualities that describe a soft place to land during challenge? See if you can make your own list, here is a few that are on mine.
Comforting~ In time of challenge there is usually discomfort going on in some way, hence the word ‘challenge’ instead of ‘ease,’ and having a soft place to land offer comfort. That comfort could be material like having a hot meal when you have no money or it could be emotional like having someone listen to you when you have nowhere to turn to share your heart. Whatever the vehicle, comfort offers a refuge where we can relax and regain our energy.
Acceptance~ Going through rough times is oftentimes misunderstood by those around us, whether they be the very people we call family and friends or whether it is the larger community. I think acceptance, unconditional acceptance, is perhaps the greatest form of soft place to land. It can heal the ways we feel isolated through judgment and misunderstanding and boost our self-esteem in dramatic and unspoken ways.
Rich~ With challenge oftentimes goes lack, destruction and even loss. In this there is a kind of inner vulnerability that is raw and poor (figuratively.) When a soft place to land shows up it can give resource where resource is absent. Along these lines, we can never underestimate the power and change that can happen when we share our resources with those who do not have what we have in any moment. This is sharing our wealth.
Tender~ What an awesome word tender is, evoking a felt sense of being touched. Having a soft place to land always seems to have a quality of tenderness for it provides for us in the places within we might be hesitant to reveal. A word tenderly lifts us up, and a look can penetrate us letting us know we are seen and valued. Having our basic needs met can be a tender reminder that we are cared for and not alone.
Embracing~ Even when we go through challenges together, like the present COVID crisis, there is a way we can feel alone. When it comes down to it, we are alone on our own path but in that alone-ness we walk together side by side. A soft place to land has a quality of belonging that can feel like an embrace.
Resourceful~ There is a practicality found in our soft places to land. Challenges lighten when resources are available to meet that challenge. And human beings play a big part in creating resources and in harnessing those resources for our fellow human beings, and really all creation.
Even naming these few qualities evoke a deep gratitude within me, reminding me of so many stories when soft places to land were there for me during times of challenge. What about you?
What are some of the qualities of having a soft place to land connote for you?
And do you truly know your own wealth? You have within you all you need to provide such a gift for others…