11-6-22 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.” Recovery – The Sacred Art: Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice by Rami Shapiro

When we QUIT, 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 awareness of our thoughts, Concentration on intention, and Concentration on discrimination or, discernment, and Concentration on effort. These qualities are used to develop healthy mental states and rid us of harmful ones. We begin to rely on our power of knowing we are basically good, and acting from that tenet. 

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 to be more skillful next time.  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. Each moment in life is special, full and meaningful.

Some of us will need to assert ourselves more in honoring what is healthy for 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, to ourselves or others.

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. You can and WILL influence the future by your present actions.
What seeds are you planting?

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. We can recognize harmful actions in the world, take the action we think is needed, without personalizing and letting the negativity overwealm us so we are reacting from anger or fear. 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, discernment and courage so often it begins to be who you are. It takes practice, repetition and courage to break the ego’s hold on your heart.

Pay attention and concentrate on the courage and virtue in yourself. Empower 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
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.

Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com


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