May 24      

Today's quotation:

When I was young I used to think that strong meant having big muscles, great physical power; but the longer I live, the more I realize that real strength has much more to do with what is not seen.  Real strength has to do with helping others.

Fred Rogers

The World According to Mr. Rogers

Today's Meditation:

When I say that I want to be a strong person, I pretty much never think about lifting weights and developing muscles.  To me, that's not being a strong person, but rather being a person with a strong body.  There's a huge difference there.  I've known many people with strong bodies who aren't strong people at all, and I've known many people whose bodies haven't been particularly strong who have shown more strength than most other people that I've known or seen or read about.

My strength lies in how I deal with adversity and how I'm able to contribute to the world in which I live.  If I want to be strong, then I need to be fully aware of the challenges that face me and not back down before those that matter.  But I also need to be able to distinguish between those that truly matter and those that don't, for backing down before challenges that don't really matter is definitely a sign of strength rather than weakness.  The strong person will discern between the necessary and the unnecessary, the important and the trivial, and act in accordance with her or his discernment, no matter how much others may criticize or mock them.

When we put our powers to use for the greater good, for the good of others and not just ourselves and those in our own personal spheres, then we're showing true strength.  We're showing the world that we're strong when we don't let other people get us down and we do what we feel called to do in spite of nay-sayers and critics.  Our strength is in our perseverance when things don't look like they're going to work out, and in walking away from situations that truly need to be walked away from.

We all have great strength within us, but unfortunately not all of us are able to tap into it regularly.  One of our goals in life always should be to use our strength to improve this world, and that means recognizing, practicing, and trusting the strength that we've been given.

Questions to consider:

From where do we get the idea that physical strength is "true" strength?

How might you use the strength that you have to influence your own world in positive ways?

How might you use your strength to choose your own path?  What steps would doing so require?

For further thought:

Strength isn't about bearing a cross of grief or shame.  Strength comes from choosing your own path, and living with the consequences.

Jennifer Armintrout

more on strength



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