Hello Friends!   A couple of weeks ago I was in an automobile accident which has left me searching for a new to me vehicle while waiting for the doctors’ ok to drive. So this Food for Thought seemed appropriate in addition to it being St. Patrick’s Day. Although this mishap did a number on my clavicle as well as my car, I am still able to present programs by phone. It is fun, easy and cost effective. I’ve been presenting these since 2000 and always enjoy the process and experience. This is a great time to encourage you to consider and schedule a Dignity and Respect teleconference program! Thanks and have a great day! Gail

DON’T WEAKEN  –  ©2004 Gail Pursell Elliott

As a young adult, I lived in an area of Pittsburgh, PA that was considered to be sort of an artists’ colony.  It was filled with old homes that had been converted into apartments and studios, tree lined streets, and charming shops.  After work I would head down to the main street to a little bar called the Pink Rhinoceros where I would join a group of other poets at a big round table where we’d take turns buying pitchers of beer and talk for hours on myriad subjects.
One of the regulars was an older, bleary-eyed Irishman who spoke with a thick brogue, Padraic O’Sullivan.  Paddy had a hook instead of a hand at the end of one arm and whispered speculation said that he had lost it to a big cat while on safari years before.  Whether true or not, we all enjoyed the plausibility and mystery surrounding the tale.

One evening the conversation was taking a grim turn as we railed against the fortunes of life as introspective people in a world that seemed bent on destroying itself.  Paddy listened in silence, took a long pull on his beer, leaned forward earnestly and said, “Sure now, life’s na sa baaad, y’know . s’long as ya doan WEAKEN.”

What weakens us?
Are we really in control of such things?

We sometimes may feel that our strength is tapped out by circumstances, by getting knocked off our feet, by great disappointments, disillusionment, sadness, or pain.
Then we start retreating and begin the process of cutting ourselves off from anything that might reopen those wounds.
We may become cautious and suspicious.
We may become jealous or resentful of others who may remind us of what we believe we have lost.
We may stop taking chances on people, on life and above all on ourselves.
This is the process of what is referred to as building walls.  The materials we use are derived from such feelings and perspectives as anger, hatred, sadness, disappointment, or fear.

When we separate ourselves from others we begin the process of cutting ourselves off from the rest of creation.  We then weaken ourselves by focusing on the wall or what separates us rather than on the strength that we can draw from the positive opportunities that are all around us.

Focusing upon what is wrong rather than what is right in our world is one way that we weaken ourselves.
Another way we do this is by carrying around feelings of shame or guilt for either not measuring up to what someone else thinks we should be, or what we feel we should exemplify.
One of the most insidious ways that we weaken ourselves is by concentrating on our accomplishments and focusing on achieving more of them. In the final analysis, they can construct a fortress that prevents us from connecting with others in an open and vulnerable way.
Achievements can be very positive as long as they are kept in perspective.  They are things that we do, not who we are.

Whatever we focus upon is what is empowered by us. Focusing on our external accomplishments too much can cause our inner identity to become invisible to others and finally to us.  Without a new project we can feel lonely.  What we are lonely for is ourselves.

When asked to point to ourselves, none of us points to our head or our hands.  We instinctively point to our heart.  That is the part of us that matters and must not weaken.
Our true strength is not the strength of our heads or our hands.  We stay strong by keeping ourselves connected to the truth of our identity, our personal dignity, the part of us that is unchanging regardless of the circumstances of our lives.
When we keep our personal power, our personal dignity and self-respect remain intact for we remember who we are.  We can remain open and receptive, with an awareness of our connection to the rest of creation.

Life can be good, even filled with wonder and hope, as long as we don’t weaken.

Anticipate a great day.  It’s Yours!


©2000-2015 Gail Pursell Elliott All Rights Reserved.     Food For Thought is part of the Dignity and Respect mission that is Innovations and is the intellectual property of Gail Pursell Elliott.

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