Are Inner Strength and Spirituality the Same Thing?

Good morning to each of you and welcome to another day! May it be a great one for you! I had an interesting search term this morning. It was “are inner strength and spirituality the same thing?” I want to speak to this today.

Spirituality is defined by Webster as being of spiritual nature and spiritual is defined as of the soul or spirit, sacred, devotional. It does not need to be connected to religion or the church to be considered spiritual. For example, I consider myself very spiritual, believing in a higher power that guides all that is, but I do not adhere to or practice any religion.

Inner strength I would describe as the strength of character, the strength that comes from within me to sustain a peaceful existence. I see, or consider, that my spirituality enhances and adds to my inner strength. When I am not feeling strong within, I pray to my higher power and I receive inner strength.

Given the way I am defining these two terms, spirituality and inner strength, I see them as two separate and distinct things, yet intertwined. I think that people who practice some form of spirituality have more inner strength, as they have more faith upon which to draw.

There are my thoughts on spirituality and inner strength. What are your thoughts on these? Are they the same or distinct? I invite you to leave a comment and let us know.

I want to let you know that I have a new video on my home page about my new free 3-module video course on finding inner peace through forgiveness. The video course consists of three tips on how to forgive. If you are struggling with lack of inner peace, head on over and get the videos. I believe they will benefit you for the rest of your life.

 

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How to Achieve Forgiveness

How to achieve forgiveness” is the search term which stuck out for me this morning. Interestingly, I just finished revising my report about forgiveness. You can get that report by leaving your email address to the right. The report details step-by-step how to get past anger and find forgiveness.

The thing is, if you are dealing with anger and grudges that you have held for a long time, they are affecting everything in your life. That anger winds its way into everything you do, affects everyone you talk to. You may be seeing the effects of anger in your relationships with your spouse, children, boss, or others. If you’re tired of this, then read on to find out the process of forgiveness.

Once you identify you have an underlying anger, you can make the decision to do something about it. Perhaps you are being forced into doing something about your anger, like… you are heading for a divorce or loss of your job. If something like this is the case, then you will want to read on…

To overcome anger and grudges, you need to look at forgiveness as a way to dispel that anger. Most people think that to forgive means you are condoning and pardoning what was done to you. That is not the case. You are not letting the other person off the hook, you are merely deciding to forgive because the anger is affecting your life.

To get a handle on your anger, your grudge, look at what is underneath the anger. It is usually hurt, or the pain of betrayal, for example. Allow yourself to feel that hurt, that pain. Then make a decision that you want something better for your life than a life filled with anger and bitterness. Make a decision that you want peace in your life.

Many people drink over their angers. In fact, resentments are the number one reason people drink, according to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. That was the case for me; I drank heavily to fuel my anger, my indignation. I stayed a bitter person for 38 years as a result. Then I found sobriety and after a while, that all changed. I found forgiveness and then I realized I wanted peace instead of anger.

Actually, I stumbled across forgiveness one day. I realized I did the very same thing to others that had been done to me in childhood… I called others worthless and no good. When I realized I meant those words about myself, I began to wonder if the person who said those words to me actually meant them about himself rather than me.

That opened the door to allow me to consider that person with compassion. Through compassion, I was able to discover a way to forgive. I do not condone what happened nor excuse the behavior, but I can see why it occurred and that has made all the difference. It was possible through my decision to get sober and then lead a life of sobriety. In order to remain sober, I needed to let go of the anger. Luckily, I discovered forgiveness.

If you are looking at your anger issues and thinking you need to do something about them, then you may wish to read the in-depth description of how to find forgiveness that is in my special report. Get that report by leaving your email to the right. In exchange, you will receive an occasional, about once a month, email from me with tidbits about ways to maintain peace in your life.

Here’s to your ability to find forgiveness. It leads to freedom like you have never experienced. May you enjoy it!

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More Positive Effects From Sobriety

To echo yesterday’s topic, is sobriety worth it, let me tell you another story.

I spent a large number of years in great anger and bitterness over my upbringing. I was filled with self-pity over the shame and degradation that was done to my soul, my spirit. I lived as a victim, always justified in my victimhood.

And I was a victim. But what I learned in sobriety was to heal from the shame, the feelings of worthlessness, the anger and rage. In sobriety, I became willing to seek professional help for my mental difficulties, which led to the realization that I’d had PTSD all those years. That was one reason for the explosive anger. With EMDR treatment, it has lessened a great deal.

The other reason for my anger was just generalized rage against the folks. After several years of healing work, I stumbled across forgiveness. It came to me over time, little bit by little bit. The end result has been full forgiveness of my past, and even being able to see the purpose for my past. I discovered how to put it to good use.

I discovered that my life’s purpose is to help others learn to forgive, so that they, too, can experience the wonderful freedom that exists on the other side of forgiveness. Without the abuse in childhood, I would never have had to struggle with my anger and rage, and I would never have stumbled across forgiveness, which is something I can help others to find.

All of this is possible because of sobriety. I didn’t have a fighting chance to heal while I was still drinking because I was stuck in the victim role. I couldn’t see past my anger, my pity. Only in sobriety have I been able to do that.

You, too, can find healing and freedom from anger and rage, heartache and pity. It starts with your sobriety. Are you willing to take that journey? Let me know in the comments section…

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Forgiveness is the Key to Your Inner Peace

Do you live in the space of anger at others for things that happened long ago. resenting the heck out of them? Or, do you live in the realm of forgiveness, having moved through your resentment to the other side?

There is another side, you know, a side where there is freedom from the physical and emotional aspects of anger, resentment. I don’t know about you, but when I was angry for all those 36 years, I was tight as a drum in my muscles, went around with a scowl on my face a great deal of the time.

Emotionally, I was always in a turmoil, a continual thought process about how I’d been wronged by so-an-so, who had hurt me, whose fault it was. I definitely did not have inner peace. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. Peace? Being at peace in my heart, my mind? What’s THAT?

What I discovered after about 5 years of sobriety was true forgiveness and the effect of that forgiveness was that 36 years of anger and rage slowly receded. One day, I just noticed how my energy was being spent watching the world and other people around me, and that I was a witness to miracles, every day. This realization bred a great deal of joy for me.

All this was possible and had occurred, because I was willing to consider forgiveness when it looked me in the eye. It looked me in the eye when I realized I was doing to the men in my life the very same thing that had been done to me when I was a child. I used to get drunk and scream at them that they were worthless. I was heartsick and mortified when I remembered this, because I so denigrated their soul.

The thing is, I didn’t even feel that way about THEM, I was feeling worthless about ME. After realizing that, I was given the grace to feel compassion for myself, a small child being told she was worthless, and the permanent scars that these words caused in her life.

One day it dawned on me… if I didn’t feel the men in my life were worthless, instead that I was worthless and said it uncontrollably, then is it possible my father hadn’t meant it about me, but instead, about himself and was unable to keep those feelings of worthlessness inside? Suddenly, the door was opened ever-so-slightly. Through that crack, I saw a man, just a man, young at that, with lots of responsibility for a large family, under lots of stress, having endured the verbal abuse himself at the hands of his father.

I saw all of that through the crack in the door, and slowly, it crept open and compassion flowed in. Well, it actually trickled, but steadily flowed. Forgiveness came over me slowly, gently, with God’s grace and my actions and thought processes. Willingness and being open minded and open hearted helped a great deal.

Suddenly, I began to experience what I described before… the ability to observe the miracles happening all around me. I put my toe in these waters, slowly, cautiously, not sure if I was dreaming or if the feeling of freedom would be rudely yanked away. Time showed me that it was permeant and that I loved it as a space to hang out in.

You, too, can discover the willingness to consider looking at things with new eyes. That’s all it takes. Willingness to consider something and someone differently. Then it takes compassion and being willing to extend it to another. What lies through this all is peace, inner peace. And freedom. Join me tomorrow and I’ll walk you through the process of how to find forgiveness for not only others, but yourself as well.

My day would feel incomplete to me if I did not say this… May we hold a screed space for those who were directly affected by the events of 9/11, and also for those of us who stood helplessly watching… horrified. Many blessings for those brave souls who sprang into action to help.

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How to Find Forgiveness

Yesterday, I spoke about how forgiveness found me. It was quite by accident. Now, I know how to recreate that for myself and I thought I’d share it with you how to find forgiveness.

Tiers of Forgiveness

Tiers of Forgiveness

It happens in tiers, or stages, over time. There are many emotions to deal with, and the original anger and resentment will resurface for you to look at. It gets easier if you apply the following process.

  • Identify the original anger. Recognize it as hurt and let yourself feel that hurt. Be willing to feel it.
  • Don’t get into how justified you are about your anger. Allow yourself to hurt.
  • Take a look at yourself and determine if you may have done something to provoke the other person. Be really honest about that, even if it is embarrassing to admit. Better to know this up-front. Be willing to look honestly. Be willing to be responsible for your own actions and words.
  • If you did do something to provoke the other person, perhaps an apology is in order. Drop your pride and apologize if you were the one who set the ball in motion.
  • If that is not the case, then look further at yourself and examine whether you have ever done the very thing for which you are angry.
  • Chances are, you have in some form or another. Think about how you felt about yourself when you did that. Were you feeling badly about yourself and took it out on another in some way?
  • Have compassion for yourself for how badly you were feeling about yourself when you did that act, or said what you said to be hurtful to another. Really hold yourself and give yourself comfort. Be willing to show yourself compassion.
  • Now, think about the other person and consider that they most likely were feeling badly about themselves when they did what they did to you.
  • Now, try to see them with the eyes of compassion for the wounded soul they were at that moment that they hurt you.
  • Don’t condone the hurtful actions. Forgiveness is not about condoning the hurtful actions or words of another. It is about freeing up your heart from the resentment you harbor. It is about clearing your heart.
  • Once you see with the eyes of compassion, try to bring forgiveness into your heart.
  • Know that they were doing the best they could at that moment, just as you always do the best you can in any moment, even if you are hurtful to another.

Try this series of ideas for one with whom you are angry and resentful, one whom you are unable to forgive, and see if it is helpful. See if it shows you how to find forgiveness.

If it is yourself you need to forgive, the same stages of self-examination and compassion apply. If you try this method, let us know the results. Leave a comment with your success, or let us know if it just didn’t work.

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