A hole in early morning thunder=storm clouds lights up the tidal marsh in Wilmington NC
“Failure is the highway to success. . .Every defeat of what is false leads us..to what is true.” - John Keats
“The antidote for discouragement is disciplined action.”
Courage is primarily defined as the ability to act in the face of fear. It follows then that dis-couragement would be something that would impede or hamper our ability to act when we are confronted with our fears. En-couragement would be something that would help us act in spite of fear. Being discouraged is a step down a very slippery slope that can lead to depression – a virtual paralysis where even proper action cannot break the grip of our ego’s assertion of feelings of hopelessness. As soon as we find ourselves struggling with action – starting to feel that there just isn’t a point to it all – it is crucial to break the dead-lock before we digress into self-pity.
Action is the key word here, but usually discouragement comes from a period where the actions we have been taking are not producing the expected result – discouragement and depression typically follow frustrated expectations. We can first ask if what we have been seeking a need or a desire. Have our expectations been realistic? What is the underlying fear, and is it realistic? Are we trying to control something which in reality we have no control over? Does what we are doing align with the will the spirit? Many things that would have us feeling down do not survive these tests, and if they do not we can realize that we have been unrealistic and move on. But there are times that we are struggling with things that meet all of these criteria and we seem to keep being rebuffed. Hence, we lose our ability to act in the face of our fears, and become discouraged. Now what?
If we continue taking the same actions we have been taking and expecting a different result, we are suffering from a form of insanity – nothing changes if nothing changes. If it is a genuine need, a realistic expectation and something that is in our control, then what we need is a plan of action that can work – which means guidance is what we lack. This is where relationships with those that have traveled the path before us is invaluable, and where our connection with the spirit is crucial. We must find and then discipline ourselves to take the proper action, and often only then will our thinking follow. And if we don’t quit right before the miracle happens, our greatest adversities can be converted into lasting legacies.
Happy Thursday !!
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