By Lou Weir
Strength is a quality of the human being, and all of us have this quality; it is part of our human inheritance. Sometimes we lose touch, though. When we are in touch, it has a quality of aliveness with the sense of the sacred impulse of: “I can.”
When you are in contact with your Strength, there is a sense of boldness and the ability to try something new when it comes. Human beings have an immense capacity for experiencing the beauty and eternal mystery of Life. When you are in touch with your Strength, your Life has a sense of expansion and possibility. When you are not, Life feels small and maybe repetitive.
You won’t have the boldness to push into something new and possibly uncomfortable. Most of us are familiar with how our habit energy and the world’s influence conspire to keep us in a rather limited place.
Strength Supports Courage
Courage arises when Strength is present. Courage means you are willing to risk it, to take a chance. You are willing to make the uncomfortable choice, even if you do not know what will happen.
When we work with the challenges in our Life, we have to be willing not to know. For some, it takes a lot of courage and boldness to go forward, not knowing where it will lead.
And we might fail. Maybe our friends won’t like what we are trying to do. But our courage allows us to think bigger and let more of a chance. It will enable us to live–fully inhabiting our Life.
It is associated with a feeling of aliveness and expansion. It could be like a small fire in your heart or belly or a huge expansive force beyond your body. When we are in touch with it, we feel the energy of it. We might feel it energetically coursing through our bodies.
With your inner eye, you might notice a volcano in your belly or flowing of lava.
And even though it has a force and energy, we feel a relaxation and usually a sense of openness and centeredness along with the power—even a sense of being myself.
We will look for new possibilities even if there is something unknown. The world and our lives are full of mystery, but if we don’t stretch a bit into it, we find ourselves dull and repetitive. A place that keeps us comfortable to some degree but misses the fulfillment of looking at each movement of our lives in a fresh way.
You probably can think of some things in your own life which reflect both those positions. Did you find yourself moving into something without knowing the future?
For many of us, when we marry, it might be like that. If we are not doing it for security alone, we will often have no idea what we are getting into, but we do it just the same.
Maybe there was a job offer or another opportunity that came your way, and though you couldn’t see the end game, you just felt yourself in accord and said, “I can,” and leaped.
Sometimes you may have failed in some ways and succeeded in ways you never thought of.
And you probably have other times when you pulled back, did not take the chance, and lost some opportunity. I don’t mean to oversimplify it. I am not saying that your Life should be filled with daredevil actions. Sometimes the courageous thing is to do nothing.
Obstacles are not powerful.
When Strength is present, obstacles seem like just the next thing to look at and work through; when it is not, they present opportunities to procrastinate or doubt yourself. Most of you have times when this has worked for you. And you had also had times when it seemed you were plagued by indecision and self-doubt, which held you back.
Barriers to Strength
One of the common barriers to contacting your Strength is how it was expressed in your family. You will have a history that influences this for you.
In your family, it may have been one person who exhibited Strength. Maybe your mother was strong, and your father was not. Or vice versa. So, the rest of the family could rely on that one person. Or maybe it was dangerous to be strong. Some nay-sayers kept you from making the bold choices.
Another common twist with Strength is how anger was expressed in your family. Anger is often considered how Strength is expressed through the small egoic self. Anger does have some characteristics of Strength but mixed with the corrosive quality of aggression. By looking deeply, people can understand the two.
So, if the Strength was expressed mixed with anger, it was problematic for you. It can be scary for a child. If there was a person who had a lot of anger and rage in them, then you may have made a vow never to be like that. In that way, you may have prevented yourself from expressing your anger and cut off your Strength.
Inquiry supports a deeper understanding
However, just feeling the anger does not necessarily liberate Strength–there are a lot of people who go around yelling and screaming, and they don’t necessarily have Strength. But we know that people who are usually angry and aggressive are usually seen to be strong. It takes the careful exploration of anger in your history and experience to start to feel it, but not express it, to eventually free yourself from that barrier to your Strength. As you explore, you learn to discriminate between anger and Strength. You also feel more of the truth of who you are, which supports deeper understanding.
As a Diamond Approach teacher, I guide people in this kind of exploration. It includes using your curiosity and intelligence to ask yourself questions about your history and experience. It also involves being present with the feelings and sensations in your body which arise. These have much wisdom stored in them, which can help us to understand. Under guided inquiry in groups of 2 or 3, we start to understand the barriers to our Strengths. As we know, the barriers fall away, and we are more in contact with our Strength.
Strength supports a more complete human life
Strength is only one of many qualities inherent to our being as humans. Others include joy, peace, compassion, and love. We never lose complete contact with these qualities, but our lives cause us to lose connection often. As we explore and see the truth of who we are, we live fuller lives with a presence that supports us in being comfortable in the world as we are and more complete. And these qualities, including Strength, shine through and positively influence our daily lives.
I regularly offer teachings and workshops regarding Strength and other human qualities in the Ann Arbor area. For more information and schedule, contact Lou Weir at: email@example.com.