The softness in the situation has to come from you rather than someone else adding it in. If someone falls in love with you, it doesn’t help if you aren’t in love with that person. Nothing can be manufactured from the outside. You have to be in a state of softness or openness to the situation; the outside situation can only act as a reminder. Outside situations can only act as landmarks.
From “Overcoming Obstacles to Work,” Chapter Five in Work, Sex, and Money: Real Life on the Path of Mindfulness, forthcoming in 2011 from Shambhala Publications. Edited by Carolyn Rose Gimian and Sherab Chodzin Kohn.