This image shows a woman filled with determination to overcome her physical disabilities. It is a truly inspiring snapshot of the inner power we all possess. It got me thinking about the spiritual quality of determination to overcome our difficulties in life, whether that be disablement—emotional, physical, spiritual—or the numerous other “opportunities to learn” that are regularly presented to us. My ‘disablement’ is ill-health, which with hindsight I can see was brought on by myself, by not living a healthy, spiritual life. This period of physical and mental ill-health has been a blessing for me, enabling me to re-evaluate life’s priorities, change focus from negative to positive and nourish the spiritual self. The level of determination required to do this has been enormous these past few years, but worth every moment!
Determination is not the same as stubbornness. Stubbornness can be led by blind desire and whim and can manifest itself in many negative acts such as aggression, anger and suspicion. Determination is a quiet, constant, inner strength drawn upon at every moment to meet life’s challenges. Determination is making the most of the present circumstances, at the same time mixed with an element of surrendering to a higher power. For me, this means that I accept (surrender to) my current limitations of physical activity and levels of concentration, whilst also doing the best I can to work within these limitations. I have determination to improve physically and mentally day by day, but also accept that if that is not God’s plan, then so be it. I’m fine with that too. Perhaps the less I can do physically frees me up to do more spiritually. How amazing would that be!
The inspiring light of determination:
Others are drawn to this inner strength of spirit and will often feel inspired to offer their assistance. They do this in a totally selfless way, not wanting anything in return, just helping because it is the right thing to do. When you are in the company of a person possessing this inner light of determination, it can make you feel uplifted, more positive and more willing to “have what s/he has”. We all have it within ourselves. You don’t need to read spiritual or self-help books to find it: the best way is in the inner silence. Find time every day to be quiet and undisturbed. Meditate or practice mindfulness, sit and watch the clouds float past the window. Then ask for help (from your guardian angel, from an Archangel, from Jesus, from your Guru, from God); ask for wisdom to recognise when opportunities to learn are given to you; ask to be imbued with determination and strength to learn from (different from ‘overcome’) life’s challenges; ask how you can help others.
Lord, how may I serve?
I wish you a happy weekend and remember – be watchful for opportunities to learn a life’s lesson at any moment!