When do YOU feel Weak?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Many times in my life I have felt "weak" for one reason or another - meaning not capable of taking one more step, giving it one more try, pulling myself back up and choosing to strive again and grow. When I set personal goals for myself and fail to live up to them I really beat myself up. It can become exhausting and very disheartening - especially when they are goals around my journey to become a more spiritual person. I end up feeling like that flower in the picture.

It's strange I guess, because in many ways I feel I am a fairly strong person (nowadays) than ever before. I stopped smoking seven years ago which was very hard but I kept on trying until it stuck. I became Vegan over a year ago because I saw no other choice in light of my life values. Again, hard, but I did it. Most times when I make a strong choice to do something, its done - my will is pretty dang strong!

Maybe that is why when I strive and fail to reach a goal, I am that much harder on myself. Most religions or faiths teach that ultimately we need to have faith in and depend on the support of a higher power to help us achieve our goals - especially if they are focused on heavenly virtues.

But sometimes that can be really difficult too, don't you think? Is there really some sort of invisible force out there helping push me in the right direction and support me in my efforts? Or am I all alone? How can I really tell one way or the other? Especially when I repeatedly fail?

Check out this video from this past season of "So You Think You Can Dance". It is a contemporary piece choreographed by the brilliant Travis Wall and danced by Robert and Allison. It is the story of a son striving to support his mother through her journey and struggle after major surgery. (The actual embed code is not working so you'll have to go to YouTube to watch it - but I highly recommend you do - its phenomenal.)

Isn't that the most beautiful and moving thing ever? It was by far my favorite piece of the season. And I thought it was appropriate to this topic due to the aspect of the mother feeling supported and loved through her struggle. The thing is, she KNEW he was there for her. But how can we know? How do we truly, and I mean truly continue to have faith that a higher power is there supporting us on our journey?

Here are some quotes from various world religions on this topic. As always, please, please share your own thoughts and quotes. In my mind, that's what makes this blog great. Love to all!

"Do not look at your weakness, nay, rely upon the confirmation of the Holy Spirit. Verily, It maketh the weak strong, the lowly mighty, the child grown, the infant mature and the small great." (Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v2, p. 274)

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (King James Bible, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

"'O my people! ask pardon of your Lord; then turn to Him; He will send the skies down on you in torrents; and He will add strength to your strength: do not then turn back sinners.'" (The Qur'an (E.H. Palmer tr), Sura 11 - Hud)

"Thou art He Who changeth through His bidding abasement into glory, and weakness into strength, and powerlessness into might, and fear into calm, and doubt into certainty. No God is there but Thee, the Mighty, the Beneficent. Thou disappointest no one who hath sought Thee, nor dost Thou keep back from Thee any one who hath desired Thee. Ordain Thou for me what becometh the heaven of Thy generosity, and the ocean of Thy bounty. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Most Powerful." (Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 249)


Janet Collins said...

Thank you for sharing and being so real with your blogs. I too think this is something that we all have struggled with at some point in our journey, if not constantly struggle with.
I however, would much rather not call those moments "failures" but simply a "moment when I did not take the most direct route to get to my goal" :)
In my heart I know that I am going to fall off of the path that God would truly like to see me on, but He more so recognizes our efforts and successes when we are able to get back on the path. And in fact, it's during those exact times that we have some of the most opportunities to grow as a person, a believer and grow in faith! I know I do! I also have to take responsibility for the choices that I made to stumble from that path and apply the effort through dedication to get back on the path.

My life on earth is a journey for the eternity that I know I've been promised! I believe, refuse to stop believing, and put mistakes and slip ups behind me. I know He forgives me, so why wouldn't I forgive myself?
Every day is a new day - new challenges, new slip ups, new opportunities, new situations to have faith, believe and trust.
It's a journey... one that we can't always control, one that will never be perfect and no one, including yourself, should expect perfection from you :)

Keep striving and hold onto your faith and your belief... you will get there, even is the path isn't the most direct route :)

Keep being you... you're amazing!

Justin Johnson said...

Thank you so much for your encouraging words Janet - you are a light! You are so right that every single moment should be looked at as an opportunity - even those when we don't make the best possible choice. We just need to keep picking ourselves up and striving to do better. THAT is what God really appreciates I think.

G. said...

Alot of people dont know that the power of god is real,as long as u believe and have faith in god,all things are possible,the lord answers prayers,just wait patiently on the lord and watch how things turn out,stay blessed!

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