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Here we are talking about the
sought by someone motivated by
WISDOM and LOVE.
Our strength comes from within.
Strength is innate – an aspect of our true nature. Trusting in this brings self-assurance.
Our TRUE NATURE is strong, resilient and adaptable. This potential can manifest naturally if we allow it and nurture it.
We can have confidence in our innate ability to grow and to learn to live life well and face the inevitable difficulties that life brings to everyone. We can have faith in the potential of the human mind and the human heart and in the resilience of the human spirit.
We can come to understand that it is through adversity and difficulties that we develop our innate strength just as challenging exercises build our physical strength.
We can find that our inner strength remains undiminished by anything that has happened to us; that we are not captive to past events – we have the inner strength to continue despite failures and painful memories of past events.
Believing we will be strong enough to face what life brings helps us to relax and be at ease. We no longer fear being tossed around by life events. Life events can actually build our faith in our inner strength.
This is then the basis for our strength and fearlessness, our confidence and trust. This trust in our INNER STRENGTH is not ego or personality based. It is realising what we are all gifted with at birth.
We can also see others, particularly those in our care, as having inner strength and encourage them to draw on it.
Note that our focus is primarily on the inner strength that all humans possess rather than the personal strengths an individual may have.
Our beliefs/understandings/views are fundamental. We need to maintain a positive view of ourselves based on our understanding of our essential worth as a human being that is not dependent on our achievements, successes or failures.
If we see ourselves and others as innately of worth and as equals then we have the basis for self-esteem and self-confidence. Our innate value is our birthright. A strong understanding of this protects us from self-doubt.
What is strength?
We could define strength as the capacity to INFLUENCE things and to be EFFECTIVE in what we do.
In an ultimate spiritual or philosophical sense it is self mastery – the capacity to be in control of our mind and to become the noble beings we essentially are.
STRENGTH is needed along with WISDOM and LOVE to walk a path to greater PEACE and true HAPPINESS. Wisdom, strength and love all work together and support each other.
Some aspects of strength:-
• ENERGY, vigour, power.
• WILL, determination, resolve, drive.
• SELF CONFIDENCE: Having faith in yourself and trusting yourself.
• SELF CONTROL, self-discipline: Being able to control our behaviour and direct our actions.
• COURAGE: Being brave even when afraid. We grow in strength, courage and confidence when we face our fears. Courage is often necessary in everyday life.
• OPTIMISM: Being positive and expecting things to go well. We can develop an underlying optimism about life and the future.
• FORTITUDE: We can find we have within us the strength needed to meet the challenges that life brings.
• PATIENCE: Being able to calmly wait for events to unfold or for our efforts to bear fruit. Patience is the element of strength that builds our effectiveness over time.
• PERSEVERANCE, persistence, tenacity: Being purposeful, sticking to our task until it’s done, even when obstacles appear. The ability to last, to endure, to bear or to resist. To not be easily deterred.
• STAMINA, endurance: Being able to sustain our efforts over a long period of time.
• CONSTANCY, reliability: Not letting people down; being dependable.
• ADAPTABILITY: The ability to adjust to the changes that life brings.
• RESILIENCE: Being able to bounce back and to make the most of a situation when unfortunate events happen. Our resilience can be developed as we come to trust our capacity to cope with situations and to adapt to circumstances. We find we have it in us to rise again and come to trust that we always will.
Taking care of physical aspects of strength
We need to be aware that attention to diet, exercise, rest, and relaxation are vital for maintaining physical strength, mental ease and a positive attitude.
We can draw strength from our interconnectedness.
Our interconnectedness and interdependence mean we are supported by, and can draw strength from, others. In return we support them. We can draw on the strength of those around us – our parents and teachers, our community and all of nature. We are not alone.
We can build a supportive network of close relations and friends who can assist in handling life’s stresses.
We can choose to regard the universe as being truly friendly and supportive.
Remember what life is about.
Remembering what life is about means we don’t waste our energies on what does not build genuine happiness. Wasting our energy is wasting our strength.
We need to not lose sight of what we aspire to. We need daily re inspiration and re envisioning of our goal of being strong, wise, at peace and contributing to the wellbeing of others. With a pure motivation we can be effective in influencing people and events in a way that facilitates peace and wellbeing for all.
Our attitude to ourselves, to others and to life is fundamental to our wellbeing and to our effectiveness. What we focus on expands. Focussing on strength strengthens us.
With a clear view that life is precious and transitory we choose to be happy and to not waste our opportunities. We resolve to learn and to make an effort in all aspects of our life.
Our resolve then manifests in patient determination, perseverance, persistence, tenacity and constancy. We develop endurance and stamina. We develop commitment and dedication. We develop self-discipline, conscientiousness, responsibility and reliability.
We choose to put our strengths to good use.
We remember that our desires are endless.
We could waste our energy in a futile pursuit of happiness through attempting to satisfy all our desires.
By understanding the futility of constant material pursuits we can instead put our energies into being effective in pursuing our fundamental wellbeing and the true happiness of all. We remember lasting joy and happiness is within us. It is our true nature.
Strength requires self control
Strength in the form of self-control is essential as we attempt to apply wisdom and love to all we say and do. A lack of self-control wastes our energies. There has to be gentle self-discipline, self-restraint and self-training to realise our vision of how we can be.
Taking responsibility for ourselves is empowering.
If reflected on, our experiences teach us how to be confident and effective. Life is not random; all actions have consequences. We can observe cause and effect around us and learn to act wisely and effectively.
We need not be afraid that we will make mistakes and have failures. We can consider our mistakes as learning experiences then put them behind us. We can keep moving forward, making an effort and remaining fully involved in life.
We can learn that love, goodness, calmness, gentleness, generosity and truth are powerful tools.
If we consistently act with wisdom and love we will build a reputation that we are trustworthy and have integrity. We will be respected and listened to.
If we are in a position of power or leadership we need to use that power responsibly and fairly. Used wisely power brings benefits to many. Misused it may bring benefits to only a few while disadvantaging and causing resentment in many others.
Ethical principles establish a sound basis for all our actions. Following them brings stability to our lives. This will sometimes require strength. It is said that such principles are the way a wise person would naturally behave. We follow them until they become our natural way of acting too.
We can begin to think, speak and act as a strong, ethical person as we train in being stronger and more effective.
Our speech is more effective if we endeavour to be honest and kind in everything we say. We can speak words of encouragement to ourselves and to others. We can seek a mutually satisfying resolution when conflicts arise.
Developing the communication skill of ASSERTIVENESS is one way we can be more effective. Assertiveness avoids the ineffective extremes of passivity on the one hand and aggression on the other. Assertiveness is not a clever way to get what you want; it is not a more subtle way to be selfish. It is about asserting the truth as you see it while recognising the needs and feelings of all involved. Assertiveness requires both courage and total respect for others. As always our intention needs to be selfless; that is, not focussed on ourselves.
We need to take responsibility for our actions. We can’t say others made us do things. We always have a choice – even if we are choosing to comply with someone’s demands.
Similarly we need to take responsibility for our own feelings. Emotions are our personal response to an outside act or situation. We can say we are angry but we cannot say someone made us angry. We must use the language of self-responsibility. Talk and self-talk that blames others reinforces the false idea that we are not in control. It is a form of giving our power away. Anger, irritation, annoyance, resentment, indignation all waste our energy and reduce our effectiveness.
Our emotions usually have some basis in thought. If we maintain clarity about our true nature and that of others we can more easily let negative thoughts and feelings just pass away.
Many of our negative feelings stem from our desire to control people and situations. We can let go of that desire and realise we are happier and more effective when we work on controlling our own thoughts, speech and actions.
We will need to be adaptable
Everything is always changing so we will need to be adaptable. ADAPTABILITY is an aspect of strength. The opposite would be inflexibility or brittleness or stubbornness masquerading as strength. We can choose to view change as an opportunity, rather than as a threat.
We can fully engage with the ever changing world but expecting that we can control people and events or establish total security and eliminate all uncertainty in our lives is unrealistic and wastes our life energies.
The serenity prayer says it well: “Grant me the courage to change the things I can change, acceptance for those I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference”.
To be strong we need to be fully aware.
Awareness underpins our strength.
Being fully aware strengthens our ability to deal properly with whatever arises. Seeing clearly is fundamental. The more we are aware the more we will be able to see how to function effectively and avoid wasting our energies.
Self-awareness lays a foundation for self-control. With self-awareness we can watch our thoughts to see that we maintain positive states of mind and not fall into negative states that produce feelings of inadequacy that reduce our self-confidence and effectiveness.
Our own thoughts can be our best friends or our worst enemies. We limit ourselves with our self-talk. Some people, who wouldn’t criticise others, are often critical of themselves. Continual self-criticism erodes our self-esteem. We need to respect ourselves and cease such negative self-talk – and not allow others to indulge in constantly criticising themselves either.
We need to be vigilant to maintain our resolve to think and act positively. Complaining wastes energy. It implies we are victims of external circumstances and diverts our attention from our own abilities to be happy and to positively influence situations.
We also need to be aware of how others perceive us. The impression we make on others will affect whether we win their cooperation and trust. We have to demonstrate we are sensible and capable to be effective.
We can practice developing our capacity to come back to the calmness, stillness and stability within. Our anxieties and fears diminish, freeing up energies to be used in living our life happily and contributing to others happiness. We develop faith in our ability to stand on our own two feet and deal rationally and lovingly with all that life brings.
Copyright © 2008-2017 John Frederick Gray
Some of the main ideas for STRENGTH
- Our true nature is strong, resilient and adaptable.
- Strength in the form of self-control is essential.
- Taking responsibility for ourselves is empowering.
- We need to use our energies for what is truly important in life.
- Calm awareness assists us to be strong.
Some quotes about STRENGTH
Have the courage to throw yourself into life, take risks, weather blows, knowing before you begin that you will be exposed to a series of opposites; success and failure, happiness and unhappiness, praise and blame.
– Arnaud Desjardins
Even in the face of the sweeping away of all that I assumed to be permanent, I did not break. The shattering of my certainties did not shatter me. Stability comes from inside, not outside.
– Lucille Clifton
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are ever after secure in your ability to survive.
– J.K. Rowling
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For many more Quotes related to STRENGTH click here.
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For suggestions for Practical Activities and Resources for this topic click here.
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