1: Showing gentleness, kindness, and affection
2: (of a part of the body) sensitive to pain
2.1: (of a plant) easily injured by severe weather and therefore needing protection
2.2: Requiring tact or careful handling
3: (of food) easy to cut or chew; not tough
4: Young, inexperienced, or vulnerable
5: Nautical (of a ship) leaning or readily inclined to roll in response to the wind

Source: en.oxforddictionaries.com


Tender (adj.): “soft, easily injured,” early 13th century, from Old French tendersoft, delicate; young” (11th century), from Latin teneremsoft, delicate; of tender age, youthful,” from a derivative of Proto-Indo-European ten-stretch” (related to: Tenet), on the notion of “stretched,” hence “thin,” hence “weak” or “young.” Compare Sanskrit tarunahyoung, tender,” Greek terentender, delicate, “ Armenian t’arm “young, fresh, green.”

Meaning “kind, affectionate, loving” first recorded early 14th century. Meaning “having the delicacy of youth, immature” is attested in English from early 14th century.

Source: www.etymonline.com


“I am proud only of those days that pass in
undivided tenderness.”

Robert Bly (b. 1926, poet, editor, translator, storyteller and father of “ the expressive men’s movement”; best known for the commercially successful book, “Iron John: A Book About Men”)

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“The bravest are the most tender; the loving are the daring.”

Bayard Taylor (1825-1878, American author known primarily for his travel narratives and for his translation of J.W. von Goethe’s “Faust”)

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“Paradise was made for tender hearts; hell, for loveless hearts.”

Voltaire (1694-1778, French philosopher and author; known for his wit and satire)

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“And that's the point! Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force strength power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weak ones.”

Jill Lepore (b. 1966, American historian, the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University, and a staff writer at “The New Yorker” magazine)

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“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving, advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.”

Henri Nouwen (1932-1996, Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer, and theologian who interests were rooted in psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social justice and community)

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“Be healing with your words, be tender with your words, be gentle with your words and watch your words bring gentle, tender healing in the hearts of others.”

Heather Wolf (author of children’s fiction and best known for “Kipnuk the Talking Dog”)

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“She gave up beauty in her tender youth, gave all her hope and joy and pleasant ways; she covered up her eyes lest they would gave on vanity, and chose the bitter truth.”

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894, English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children’s poems; best know for “Goblin Market,” and “Remember”)

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“A gentleman has his eyes on all those present; he is tender toward the bashful, gentle toward the distant, and merciful toward the absent.”

Lawrence G. Lovasik (1913-1986, Catholic priest and author, best known for writing “The Hidden Power of Kindness”)

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“A gentleman has his eyes on all those present; he is tender toward the bashful, gentle toward the distant, and merciful toward the absent.”

Lawrence G. Lovasik


As human beings it’s part of the journey to suffer through. And through that suffering The Universe will bestow us us the time and space to connect to the healing light of tenderness.

Miraculously, most of us are very fortunate to attract and gravitate to the loving and caring people we need, those who understand, care, and unconditionally love us.  During the holidays we yearn for the tenderness of our family, friends and soul mates.

When I went to college in my late teens and early twenties, like for most, it was an important turning point my life.  Not only did I learn to manage freedom, but I also learned to manage my relationships.  Somehow, I was blessed to have dear friends, teachers, and professors who supported and encouraged me at that time. They didn’t give me much advice, but were present in their love which allowed me to grow.

Mrs. Philips was a tender loving mother-figure to me.  I worked for her as work-study student. Professor and Mrs. Doscher were like parents to me, who allowed me to stay in their home and housesit when they traveled to NYC.   Dr. and Dr. Gabin, were my professors, he in accounting and she in English. I loved that family and would often babysit their daughter, who was a delight.  And of course, there was the legendary Ma Renwick, a beloved artist and painter with whom I rented a room in my senior year.  Life with Ma Renwick was full, adventurous, and jam-packed with interesting visitors to her home.  No wonder I thrived when I was in college. There was so much love to nourish and heal me.

There was also plenty of opportunities to meet and speak to visiting dignitaries like former U.N. Ambassador, statesman, and civil rights activist Andrew Young.  Even though I was relatively shy at the time, I never missed an opportunity to to ask a question.  I could barely speak, afraid I was asking a silly question. But Mr. Young gently urged me on, listened patiently, and then answered my question.  A sign of a great teacher and leader is the ability to respond to one’s audeience with compassion.

Tenderness is not only about receiving or giving, it’s about vibration and observance, a devotion to one’s soul and in service to others.

One of my favorite spiritual teachers Richard Rohr recently wrote: “St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), founder of the Society of Jesus or Jesuits, proposed a daily exercise which he called the Examen of Consciousness or the Daily Examen — a simple exercise of discernment. Rather than focusing on what went right or wrong, how you failed or succeeded throughout the day, this exercises encourages you to reflect on moments when you were aware of God — when you were present to Love — and those times when you were forgetful or distracted.”

Let us ease into the New Year, refreshed, renewed, and tender to All.  Happy New Year, sojourners!

Miraculously Yours, Tonya





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