In times of adversity, we have all heard those old cliche’s…
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”
“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!”
And, the ever popular “Just suck it up!”
These platitudes appeal to the soldier inside of us and so we suck in our gut, lift our chests and square our shoulders! Saluting our challenges we march bravely onward ignoring our fatigue and the tears in our eyes.
In a world where strength and being tough is respected we are told “we must make it happen”.
And if it doesn’t… then something is wrong with us and we just need to work a little harder!
We have to keep it all together…and whatever you do, “Don’t fall apart!”
Look Ma… no chinks in my armour!
I’ve been searching for a job in earnest now for almost a year. I was liberated from my job almost two years ago next month. The search has been long, hard and often times very frustrating.
Bills are piling up. The phone rings almost continuously with calls from one bill collector or another. I don’t know if I will keep my house.
On the upside, I’ve learned how to do things with chicken that I never thought possible. (LOL!)
Well meaning friends have offered advice and sympathy.
I’ve lost count of the job fairs I’ve attended, and the number of applications I have forwarded. I must have about 8 different versions of my resume on the hard drive. All of that effort has netted me about 4 face-to-face interviews, and a whole lot of those letters that start with “You are qualified, but you are not the most qualified candidate..”
And because I’m a spiritual teacher I’ve felt at times as if I needed to be stronger, somehow tougher than most. After all, I teach people about living their best lives…
Yesterday, I had a breakdown and I did the unthinkable…I fell apart!
I told my partner I needed some alone time. I closed myself up in my old room and had a good cry. I rocked back and forth with my arms wrapped around me. I prayed, I sat in the silence… and then I cried some more.
I told God that I was tired of being strong and I had exhausted my supply of bootstraps.
A certain scripture came to mind and I will quote it from the Amplified Bible:
II Corithians 1:8-9
8For we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about the affliction and oppressing distress which befell us in [the province of] Asia, how we were so utterly and unbearably weighed down and crushed that we despaired even of life [itself].
9Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the [very] sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead.
And again from Corinthians 12: 9-10
9But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
10So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).
Inside the breakdown I had a breakthrough. It is not how strong I am that will get me through these hard times.
It is the recognition of my weakness that will enable me to tap into the Divine Strength I need to keep going.
I bow humbly to the Christ Consciousness within me so that power may rests upon me and pitch a tent and dwell over me! His grace is sufficient for me and His strength made perfect in my weakness.
If we could be it all and do it all, we would not be human. Embracing our humanity with all of its frailty is divine. And so weary soldiers learn how to give it a rest…
I Peter 5:7 from the Amplified Bible
7Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
There is nothing that we truly control except our response to the content that arises in our lives.
We are not asked to be tough or even strong within ourselves. But always, and at every turn, we are asked to lean on and rely in the infinite Love and Substance we call God by whatever name we choose.
It is always and only about our connection to this loving and benevolent Source as the source of our strength and courage.
Don’t keep tuffin’ it out…instead try letting go and letting in God.