Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

STRENGTH

           Ah, a new day…a day of beginning, promise, hopes and plans. The day “resolutions” are born. Everyday we can remember the past and seek changes to improve our lives. My thoughts today are on strength. It is said that only the strong survive, but in this male dominated left-brain world, this is normally interpreted to mean the physically strong. So we lift weights, worship the low fat body, and exercise ourselves into a frothy lather trying to be strong in the way our egos, our left-brain, would have us be. Our society worships the male form without fat, muscles rippling, plainly defined. Interestingly enough, the male ideal form has not changed much over the millennium, while the female ideal changes over time. Now we worship emaciated models whose height/weight proportions are insane. I wonder if anyone has done a study on the life expectancy of a runway model. Fifty years ago society worshipped the Rubenesque form with the healthy curves of Marilyn Monroe or Jane Mansfield.

            I think the reason that we have seen these changes is due to the effect of civilization on the human psyche. When people became domesticated and lived together in large groups, certain beliefs started to manifest in males versus females. Roles were assigned by subconscious agreement; men assumed (grabbed?) the role of authority and survival and sacrificed their nurturing instincts. Women did the opposite, sacrificing their desire for survival and authority for the capacity to nurture. Thus we created the male dominated society.

            Today we see these roles changing, thank God. Women are becoming more empowered, taking on leadership roles in numbers unparalleled in history. Men are becoming more nurturing, willing to let women share the responsibility of leadership. Women gather to empower themselves, men gather to get in touch with their feelings. Slowly but surely we are becoming more balanced. In the far distant future perhaps we will become more androgynous, only time will tell.

            I agree that the strong will survive, but not the physically strong. The strength that will survive is strength of character, integrity, compassion and self-worth. It is said that the species that will survive is not the species with the strongest physical form; it is the species that is the most flexible with the ability to adapt. So unless we become more flexible, more compassionate and more caring about one another, we may in fact be replaced as the dominant species on the planet. It is not the strength of acquisition that will survive; it is the strength of sharing. It takes a much stronger person to sacrifice for the good of the people than someone to accumulate wealth.

            “Where does this strength come from?” one may ask. This strength arises from our undeniable ability to love one another. It comes from our focus on higher spiritual truths, that we are all connected and we have to put each other before ourselves. It is said that the wealth of the major churches/temples/sects/religions would feed every man, woman and child on this planet for thousands of years. I do not believe that God would approve of such hoarding. On an individual level, whenever we do not share our blessings, wealth and gifts, we also risk poverty of the spirit.

            So on this day, I resolve to think of others before myself. That is it. I don’t want to lose weight, I don’t want to learn a new sport, and I don’t want to accomplish anything other than to improve my connection with the God of my understanding. All of the major religions say this: be joy, be love, be compassionate, bring peace, and do no harm. This is the strength that will survive

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