12-23-18 Gentle Strength

Gentle Strength 

Strength; The capacity for exertion or endurance. The ability to resist negativity and harm, and to engage in what is healthy. Enthusiasm, trustworthiness, creativity. Being beneficial or a source of power to engage in compassion.

Weakness; A quality or feature regarded as a disadvantage or fault. A quality of someone or something that is not good or effective. A self-indulgent quality that engages in harmful behavior. Limiting, fearful, doubt and giving up.

Gentleness; Founded on strength and prompted by love. Not violently or aggressively, but gently, do we treat ourselves and others. The fruit of ‘gentleness’ isn’t about being wishy-washy, indecisive or unassertive. Instead, it’s a refusal to use power to harm anyone. Gentleness is where we find our connection with the spirit, our higher self beyond our selfish fears and needs. 

In my addiction I had a huge sense of selfish self that made me very unhappy, and I did not really know why, or what to do about it. Avoidance and fear were ruling my life force. I had no sense of gentleness. I thought strength was when I was able to get my way. I am very familiar and comfortable with my behaviors of fear and doubt about myself, and an unwillingness to open and permit happiness to be a part of my life. First, I have to want to heal and feel more contentment and happiness in my life. 

Recognize and accept your weaknesses. You can’t turn a weakness into a strength if you’re busy denying the weakness exists. … Get guidance from someone you trust. … Hang out with healthy people and situations. Make the effort to replace your harmful behaviors by engaging in healthy, stronger behaviors. Permit yourself , and OTHERS, to be human and flawed. Be one that makes mistakes, accepts that from yourself and others, and moves forward in a healthy healing way. 

To be gentle is not a weakness, it is showing strength. It takes no courage to hide or to attack someone. It takes a strength that you DO have, to have your sense of peace be more important than reacting to some slight from someone, or a frustration with the world because it isn’t spinning the way YOU want it to. “Our addiction was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.” Paraphrase, Big Book. You have done good work, and are still doing the work you need to, just keep going. Expand and enlarge your life. You can do it!!!

I will sometimes have doubt come up when I am facing a task. I am being gentle when I find the strength to apply myself, to take action, through and beyond my sense of doubt or being scared.  I become more interested in – What IS possible, what CAN I do? Instead of bowing to my doubt and letting it define and limit me. Limiting myself is not gentle, it is a harsh return to letting fear rule me. When I do live with gentle strength I am constantly asking a little more of myself through using restraint, patience, and brave actions. We CHOOSE the life we lead.                                                                               

When you permit fear or anger to rule you, feel the weakness, the shadow that covers and limits you, the conflicted feeling it brings. Pay attention to how much of your conversation in your own head, and with others, consists of what is wrong, judging, war stories, and what your problems are. Do you have a mentality to LOOK for what is wrong? All of that grows weakness, doubt and fear. Begin using the energy of; What is good, what you find inspiring. Listen to others fully and support them. Be in the solution, don’t be the problem. Be strong enough to be in the minority, and embrace life, don’t dis it. 

I will sometimes have doubt come up when I am facing a task. I am being gentle when I find the strength to apply myself, to take action, through and beyond my sense of doubt or being scared.  I become more interested in – What IS possible, what CAN I do? Instead of bowing to my doubt and letting it define and limit me. Limiting myself is not gentle, it is a harsh return to letting fear rule me. When I do live with gentle strength I am constantly asking a little more of myself through using restraint, patience, and brave actions. We CHOOSE the life we lead.

Meditation will help to touch into your healthier connections, bringing an awareness of what you are doing, and what is naturally a wiser path. It helps us to see and feel who we are, and to accept ourselves with gentleness, which brings strength. We become familiar with the breath as a place of gentle strength. We touch into our spiritual nature and feel the gentle strength that is possible in all of our life.

Use PCO, Present, Calm, Open, as a way to bring yourself back to your stronger, gentler self when feeling angry or fearful. At work, at home, often everyday.                                                                                                                                       Present – Stop – take a full deep breath, or two or three, and exhale fully. Say to yourself each time, “I am Present.” Feel yourself become present in your body. Simply feel your energies, that are all over the place, come back into your body.                                                                                                                                             Calm – Take a full breath, or two or three, exhale fully, and say each time “ I am Calm.”  Drop your shoulders, relax your jaw. Feel your entire body and mind relax and calm down.                                                                            Open – When you are more present and calm, breathe deeply, and with the outbreath say “I am Open”  Expand and open your mind and heart to the world with a sense of gentle strength that feels calm and inquisitive. Use your strength to go forward, acting from your heart, not your fear. 

Set your alarm for once an hour so you can remember to practice PCO many times a day. A new behavior takes at least a month to become habitual. You may drop your sense of fear or anxiety 10 or 20% at first. That is a good beginning. Keep believing in your gentle strength, and it will become who you are, not just a place you visit occasionally. 

Fully embrace the wonderfulness that you are. Your spirit is strong and gentle; Be that.                   

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.                                                                                                   The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.                                                                  The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.                                                                                                                                        Heart of Recovery web site — fcheartofrecovery.com