Wednesday, September 16, 2009

DAY 38 Strength

Hello Journal,


I want it. I need it. I like it. I like what it gives to the one that has it. Like a strong, beautiful wild stallion, able to run and live free, to pursue life with joyous abandon...

But I don't feel as though *I* have an abundance of it.  I realized a few years ago that I have strength of personality, but not an excess of personal, inner strength...not the way that I understand it, the kind that I want to have.

One time, in my quest for more strength, I thought that perhaps I could develop more strength if I understood it I looked it up:

STRENGTH: being strong; toughness; power from spiritual sources; not weak; determination of spirit.

I could relate to that last I looked IT up:

DETERMINATION: the power that results from deciding definitely and firmly.

I read somewhere the answer given by a professional athlete when he was asked "what is your secret?" He replied: "Discipline...develop your mental strength...mental toughness...a matter of desire."

So, I looked up self-discipline:  I summarized what I found this way...

Do WHAT I need to do...
WHEN I need to do it...
whether I FEEL like doing it or not

So, that is why I don't FEEL like I have much strength...if I did, it seems like I would have faced my fears a long time ago, and been to my goal weight by now.

A few years ago, when I was responsible for taking care of my dying Mom...arranging schedules, doctors, hospice, financial stuff, funeral stuff, etc etc...someone told me "oh, you are so strong."  Of course, I just smiled and was gracious...but inside I knew different. I knew ME.  I did what I did out of LOVE for Momma, not because I was strong. I DID what had to be done...because that's what love does. But inside, I did not FEEL strong. So many people helped, or I would never have made it. I may have been the "conductor" of the orchestra, but without the musicians, there would have been no music!

There is also a spiritual side to this...those who come from a religious background (myself included) have this connection to a Source of strength...some of my favorite verses say things like: 

The Lord is my strength and my song...
The Lord gives strength to his people...
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength...
The joy of the Lord is your strength... 

Quite a few years ago, during the course of a few months, 3 different people (who did not know one another) came up to my husband and me and told us the same thing, almost word for word: that "God was giving us a double-portion of joy."

I have puzzled over that a lot. What did it MEAN, in real life???

I connected it to that last verse..."The joy of the Lord is your strength."

I jumped to the conclusion that it meant...Wowzer! that I have all this "strength" I will be able to conquor this weight loss thing! 

Ha ha...the joke was on was not that simple. No short-cuts, no easy way out. I MUST do the work, I MUST get in touch with my feelings, and not run away in fear to the food. No magic bullet, no instant cure.

Most of the time, I feel more like a broken down nag, not the joyous wild stallion! LOL!  I think that is one reason I didn't want to focus on my feelings...they so often are not very...positive!!

(click pic to enlarge)

I have to ask myself...if inner strength is like a muscle, in that it will grow with hard use, then is ACTING strong, doing the things that must be that the same as BEING strong?? If I keep making the right choices on this journey, DOING the things I need to do...will that grow my inner strength muscles? 

I don't know...maybe I am afraid to own it...I don't feel I have earned it yet. I wonder if I will feel differently in another year??

From Dr Phil's book:  "You must get in touch with your thoughts and feelings and why you're having them...Get real with yourself...when conflict arises don't panic and seek solace in food." 

My verse for today: "He will keep you strong to the end." 

My quote for today: "If you treat your wife like a thoroughbred, you'll never end up with a nag." --Zig Ziglar

Enjoy the Journey,



Karen Elizabeth Brown said...

"Is acting strong... the same as being strong?"
Absolutely! Being a retired musician, I'm an expert on the practice makes perfect model. We train our muscles to do a certain thing over and over until it becomes second nature. What starts out shakey and halting soon becomes a beautiful melodic line. We train our mental muscles, by doing the same thing over and over, until we are mentally strong and somewhere in the process we are no longer just acting strong, but we have become strong. And, all along the process we have developed confidence and poise to believe in ourselves. That belief that we are strong isn't as important as the mental exercise of practicing being strong. The more you practice, the better you become.

Retta said..., don't worry about whether or not I AM strong...just keep on doing what needs to be done..."practicing being strong".....and the rest will take care of itself. I LIKE it from that point of view. :-)

Anonymous said...

Loretta....was it you that friended me on facebook? I went to add you as a friend and you were gone and now I cant find you on there!

Retta said...

Hi Nancy,
Yep, that was me. I saw that we both had Jimmy Moore as a friend, and your note about editing the book...and I finally put 2 and 2 together! Love that guy, and appreciate all he does.

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