The sign of a strong man is not how many push ups he can do. I work out with lots of men who can perform lots of push ups, pull ups, and planks. The real sign of strength, among men and women, however, is not revealed in a push up, pull up, and plank kinda contest. Real strength comes from within, from a stong sense of self, an awareness of other selves, and the ability to be pushed without pushing back. Think Gandhi and Mother Teresa kinda strength. Real strength is measured in ones ability to absorb tension – to take it, if you will. Yes this runs contradictory to many of my teachings. Absorb anyway, friend.
Today, during a morning practice with a strong man getting stronger, we focused on him building this kinda strength. We’re gonna measure his growth with how many pushes he can absorb from those closest to his heart. When he’s attacked, he’s going to work on a different response than the well worn counter attack or the even more virtuous aim of seeking a solution and attempting to fix.
Instead, he’s going to absorb.
Absorb, my friend. Absorb. Real strength is shown when your justice thread is tweaked. You know it. You’re sideways and it’s not right. You deserve better. It’s not fair. He/she is way out of line and completely nuts. You stand, anyway. You stand with your beloved instead of standing her down. You stand beside, not stand over. You stand leaning toward, not with arms crossed. You stand in the tension without transferring the tension, even to it’s rightful owner. You stand in the tension and take it.
You see, real strength comes when we absorb. God, help us all. Good.