7-21-19 Power

Power

Power:  The ability to do something or
act in a particular way, capacity, capability. 

“We admitted that we were
powerless over alcohol [our addiction]—that our lives had become unmanageable.”
–Step One, Alcoholics Anonymous

“Came to believe that a power
greater than ourselves [our small negative, judgmental, fearful,

ego-selves] could restore us
to sanity.”
–Step Two, Alcoholics Anonymous

“As long as I focus
on controlling life, I have no time to live it.” From Recovery – The Sacred
Art: Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice by Rami Shapiro

When we QUIT, or give
up on the illusion of personal power and control, we are no longer responsible
for anyone or anything but ourselves. Life goes on and at
last we are free to live it, rather than being doomed to try to control it. Denial
requires a tremendous act of will. This is exhausting. 

Meditation is where
we begin seeing how our mind works, and what the possibilities are. We start to
notice that what we do makes a difference as we take our awareness into our
everyday life and use our new vision with courage.

In Buddhism, the “Base of spiritual power” refers to the four base mental
qualities: Concentration
on effort, Concentration on awareness of our thoughts, Concentration
on intention, and Concentration on discrimination or, discernment). These qualities
are used to develop healthy mental states and rid us of harmful ones.

What we do or don’t do will influence our future and will affect others. When wetryto persuade others to bend
to ourway, as in an addiction or obsession (or just
everyday life), we create suffering because we’re abusing our power and trying
to take their power away. A better use of our intellect and spiritual essence
would be to use our awareness to
inform us of our thoughts and intentions.
 Being aware, we can use our discrimination to act in a healthy,
inclusive, and kind manner. This takes effort, a desire to grow and end
our suffering and that of others. When we permit our old, destructive behaviors
to be our negative power, we give up the power to do good and to grow.

We always have the power of CHOICE. When we make a poor choice, we can rejoice
in our capacity to recognize it as just that, and vow not to do it again.  We can replace that former behavior with
patience and kindness. We can always choose to NOT demean ourselves. Then our
power will begin to arise. We can go through life appreciating all there is, from
black to white, and all the rainbows, rain clouds, speed bumps and joys in between.

Some of us will
need to assert ourselves more in honoring what is healthy for us, according to
us. We may need to examine the influence others have on us.  We can do this in a kind and steady way,
being neither overly concerned with others’, nor our own, negative assessments
of our decisions. We will learn to rely on our intuition and wisdom to make
good decisions. We should always respect ourselves and let no one influence us
so we do harm.

On the other hand, some of us will need to relax our need to assert ourselves
and our judgements on others (and ourselves). The you that seeks to control is the you that needs controlling. And the you that refuses to step into your power is the one that needs to begin being braver, a little
bit at a time.

As
you begin feeling the power of Now, you may wonder where you have been all this
time. What has happened in the past creates what is NOW. You cannot control
what is now, but you can engage fully
now, and have an influence on what
will be. Just because you can’t control the sea does not mean you can’t learn
how to sail your boat in it. You can and WILL influence the future by your
present actions.

Suffering
humbles us; it allows us to have compassion for the faults of others and
ourselves. Compassion and discrimination, not judgement. Our power comes from
kindness, not fear or aggression.

Why do we get upset
over what someone else has done or said, or something that has happened? If it
is harmful to us, we should have the courage to address it in a thoughtful and
reasonable way. If it does not harm us directly, our anger or judgement is only
our fearful, negative power seeking to control or change someone else. Why
would we let someone else’s opinion of us or what we believe in upset us?  Do we really respect what they think? Why
would we give our serenity, our connection with the sacred and worldly, to
someone else? We’ve been given the power to choose wisdom and
intelligence over small-minded aggression or fearful withdrawal. Learn to know
and trust yourself.  Our power is only
effective if we choose to use it.
Otherwise it is like a jewel that’s lost in the dust at our feet.

Protect and use
your spiritual connection like a brilliant, beautiful jewel.

Any
true power comes from seeing clearly, and from joining the head and the heart
together.
Learn to STOP and BREATHE. Feel calmness, feel your mind and heart open from
the closed, selfish or fearful position you started in. Use your open heart so
often it begins to be who you are.

Pay
attention and concentrate on the courage and virtue in yourself.

You
are your best teacher, pay attention!

What
do you REALLY want in life? Get started NOW.

If you can keep your head when all about you, Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;   
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
Yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same; 
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, 
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it…
–Rudyard Kipling, “If”

                                         

  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


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