3-12-23 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 characteristic of someone or something that isn’t good or effective; a self-indulgent trait that engages harmful behaviors.

Gentleness: A trait that is founded on strength and prompted by kindness. 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 didn’t really know why or what to do about it. Avoidance and fear were ruling my life. 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 fearful and doubtful behaviors, and also with the unwillingness to open and permit happiness to be a part of my life. I finally realized I had to want to heal and feel more contentment and happiness in my life before it could come in. 

What are your weaknesses?  Open yourself to recognizing and accepting them. 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 in wholesome situations. Make the effort to replace your harmful behaviors by engaging in positive ones. Permit yourself, and OTHERS, to be human and flawed. Be someone who makes mistakes, accepts mistakes from yourself and others, learns, and moves forward in a healthy, healing way. 

When you permit fear or anger to rule you, feel that weakness.  Feel the quality of it; the shadow that covers and limits you, and the conflicted feeling it brings. Pay attention to how much of your conversation, interior and exterior, consists of what is wrong.  Look for how judgement, war
stories, complaining and your problems creep in. Consider: is your default mentality to LOOK for what is wrong? Such thinking grows weakness, doubt and fear. Begin using the energy of what is good; what you find inspiring. 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’s 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 my use of restraint, patience, and brave action. Right action is using a gentle strength to assert yourself directly and honestly with kindness.

Remember, to be gentle is not a weakness, it’s a show of strength. It takes no courage to hide or to attack someone. It takes strength (a strength you DO have) to make your sense of peace more important than reacting to some slight from someone, or to some 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!  We CHOOSE the life we lead

Meditation helps us to touch into our healthier connections.  It brings an awareness of what we’re 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.

In your daily life, use Present, Calm, Open (PCO) as a way to bring yourself back to your stronger, gentler self when feeling angry or fearful. At work, at home, many times every day.

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 scattered energies come back into your body from wherever they are.                                                                                                                 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 out-breath 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. 

You could set your alarm for once an hour so you can remember to practice PCO many times each 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 true 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
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.

Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com