Day 10 – The Reality of Inner Strength
“Hope is the sun. It is light. It is passion. It is the fundamental force for life’s blossoming.” – Daisaku Ikeda
Despite what modern cultural beliefs tell us, true personal strength is not about power, influence, or domination. Real strength comes from a sense of inner security, peace, and contentment. Our meditation today shows us that this real strength is available in the peaceful, contented consciousness of our true self.
How do you define success? For me success is getting to the point where you are absolutely comfortable with yourself. It takes some work to get there. Welcome to Day 10 – The Reality of Inner Strength.
For a long time at the beginning of each year I used to ask God through my resolutions to help me master a new virtue. The year I requested strength I was confronted with one exhausting sole-sucking experience after another. After that year I quit asking for what I thought I wanted. Now I just take what comes.
Here’s what I’ve learned. I can rely on the strength I inherited from those who came before me. Each one of us has ancestors who were tested with unimaginable hardships; and they survived. When I try something new or I’m faced with a challenge I bring all of my history with me, all of the people who paved the way for me. Everything I’ve ever done in my life is a part of who I am. I take my strength from their strength.
I’ve also come to realize where there is no struggle, there is no strength. Inner strength comes from having been challenged, having adversity and often pain in the problems that make you want to throw your hands up and shout, “I give in”, and can also build your tenacity. courage and determination.
We all have the ability to stand up, face resistance and walk through it. If you feel you’re walking into fear, know that you already have the enduring power that you’re asking for. Then say thank you because you know at your truest core your greatest struggle will produce your deepest strength.
The mantra for today’s meditation rings true for me. I know it’s ultimately true…being at peace is my greatest strength. Let’s embrace that peace.
Generally speaking many people lead lives that seem stable and purposeful, but deep down they feel insecure and anxious. We’ve been talking about trust and hope, and nothing destroys hope more than feeling insecure.
The opposite of insecurity is strength. What does it mean to be strong? Looking around we can see the strength of an authority figure like a boss who dominates others. With or without consent they take charge and make it clear that only their will, their desires, and their emotions are important. This is a sad distortion of true strength.
Society rewards this distorted strength by giving some people power and millions of others seem more than happy to give away their power to those who appear strong. All of this comes about because we haven’t learned how to be strong inside ourselves. Out of insecurity we build defenses to keep threats away and defenses like castle walls enclose a small protected area while shutting out the great wide world.
When you feel safe and secure inside yourself the world expands infinitely because consciousness is infinite. When you feel strong inside you don’t feel afraid, anxious and isolated; you are open to life instead. And in openness there is strength.
In meditation you experience the unchanging level of awareness that cannot be shaken. This is permanent strength. In practical terms becoming strong feels like a puppy who is safe only beside its mother until its curiosity lures it into the outside world. At first the puppy rushes back to its mother’s side when it feels unsafe. But over time standing on its own feels natural and right. It has no more desire to be protected by another.
The self behaves the same way. It starts out needing protection or the illusion of protection by clinging to externals like money, status, ego-strokes, the bonds of relationships, developing a fit body, etc. These are good things on their own. But they aren’t good if they reinforce the attitude of “me against the world” or “us versus them”…in other words, a defensive posture.
The secret is to experiment with standing up for yourself, speaking your truth, holding fast when you must, and always taking responsibility. When your inner strength and hope gets activated you realized there was never a “you against the world” or “us versus them”. There was only the power of hope in your consciousness and the reality it constructs.
Being at peace is my greatest strength.
Om Gum Namah
Expansive consciousness dissolves obstacles.
As a younger human being I developed the notion that power and strength was external. Probably too many cartoons. But today I cherish the power and strength that is within me, not the forceful kind, but the calm and peaceful kind.
It has taken me many decades to finally be comfortable in my own skin and to actually love who I am. And I owe that to finding and clinging to a Power Greater Than Myself. I was awarded this Higher Power when I realized I’m a sick puppy, I cannot stop drinking. I’m a loser. I have no self-control. What the hell is the matter with me? An alcohol treatment program and Alcoholics Anonymous showed me that I can have a higher power of my own understanding and that I can turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him.
So I faked it ’til I maked it. I made up my own higher power, turned myself over to its care, and my life has never been the same. I was able to quiet my mind. I was able to open my heart. I was able to become rigorously honest. I was able to shed the guilt and shame. I was given a new lease on life that I never “thought” possible!
Today I allow my Higher Power to be in the driver’s seat of our pink convertible cadillac, drive me through life, and teach me the lessons I need to learn. I can just go with the flow doing the best I know how. And life today is good. Life today is easy. No expectations; no disappointments.
Yes, I’ve had my struggles. I’ve battled my demons. I surrendered. I got sober. My inner strength and hope got activated. And from that journey I have been lead to a peaceful and contented life. What is hope for me? Hope is my Higher Power. I know, I “feel” that everything is perfect at this very moment.
For those interested in Inspirational Art with a Message, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com. Mahalo and have a peaceful day!
From Oprah Winfrey & Deepak Chopra 21-Day Meditation Challenge “Hope in Uncertain Times”.