I once heard someone say, “A woman is strong in her gentleness; a man is gentle in his strength.”
This seems especially important now, when we are being called to react in anger, aggression and “toughness.” Really, only cowards need to resort to such things.
The greater strength is in love. Do you want to melt the ice of bitterness, fear and shame? Honor others and watch these disappear like fog in bright sunshine.
gentleness will take the flame right out of anger, which needs fuel to burn. If we take the time to listen – truly and sincerely; then give a gentel, reasonable answer, the likelihood of peace goes way up. Argue or push back, however, and the fire will burn hot.
Love, honor, gentleness and strength are available to each of us, like clothes in our closets. They adorn us like beautiful jewelry. We can pick them out and put them on. The result is loveliness and attraction that is beyond words.
Things such as anger, fear, prejudice, greed, self-centeredness and bitterness are within reach, too. They make us pale and fragile in the same way as a long-term disease does.
Perhaps the most wonderful aspect of this is that we have the power to choose. These are inward qualities that cannot be forced on us or taken away from us.
What’s in your closet? Which will you put on? By the way, if you want to throw the ugly “clothes” out, you have the power to do that as well.
It isn’t that we have never been afraid; never worried or thought that we would most certainly die. We experienced all of that as we walked through the fiery hell of abuse, drugs, alcohol, eating disorders and trauma. That is what courage is for.
Now that we are on the healthy road, the one that leads to greater wellness, we face new challenges: Old monsters that rattle their cages, demanding our attention; sobriety’s call to a completely new lifestyle; pain that was so neatly medicated and tucked away; new truth that requires us to lay down old lies and beliefs, even when their replacements are not clear. This too, is what courage is for.
As we face the hard things in life, we meet two other companions: Strength and Wisdom. These can only be developed as we persevere.
May Courage be your most constant friend,
Along with Strength and Wisdom.
Keep these three close, and in the end;
You’ll smile at life well done!
Wholeness has been a fashionable word for many years, so its meaning is worth consideration.
I have often had people tell me I am not whole, because I can’t see. They are missing the point.
Wholeness is not about perfection in mind, emotions or body. It is not about being flawless in thought, word or deed.
It is about knowing and accepting ourselves as we are, strengths, frailty, quips, down side and all.
Wholeness includes our whole process of growing, healing, learning, accomplishing, rest, enjoyment and delight. It is made of our dreams, hopes, fears, doubts, struggles and victory.
As a whole person, I grant myself the same mercy, compassion, hope, joy, peace and love that god shows me.
There seems to be a strong temptation to make up for who we are or to be more than what we have been created to be: We work so hard to live and do beyond our limits, hiding in shame and embarrassment when we think we have been or done less than we should.
That is not God’s way for us. He says we are good, remarkably and wonderfully made.
Papa likes to brag about His kids!