Having Courage and Strength


I asked the I Ching:

“What can I do to have courage and strength?”

The answer was so powerful that I had to write it down in my journal so I could internalize it, and I also wanted to type it up on my blog to share it with you, because it’s just good advice in general.

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It is time to eliminate bad habits and behaviors and free yourself from relationships and situations that drag you down. Deliverance requires inner resolution and perseverance. You alone can save yourself. No one else can do it for you. But if you stay the course, people who undermine your self-worth or have an unhealthy influence in your life will see that you cannot be taken advantage of and they will withdraw of their own accord.

“Delivering yourself” means treating yourself with respect and developing a positive attitude toward who you are and what you do. Deliverance requires a narrative of redemption. It means believing in a vision of yourself and in a story of your life in which things can get better. If you hold fast to this vision and make this story your story, your life will indeed improve.

By believing in yourself and becoming committed to your deliverance, you will no longer attract harmful people, and you will no longer get yourself entangled in unhealthy behaviors and difficult circumstances that you could have avoided.

Jack M. Balkin, The Laws of Change

I need to stay focused on this message, because I need courage and strength in order to stay on the right path. After a lifetime of approval seeking and people pleasing, I finally know what it’s like to be free, but there are still backsliding and self-sabotaging habits that I need to be aware of. Only I can save myself.



Ceasing to Matter

I’ve learned that when certain things cease to matter, that’s when I know I’ve transcended it. Things come up that used to get to me, but now they don’t matter like they used to. At the same time, certain things matter even more than before, like self-cultivation.

It seems like self-confidence naturally springs from wisdom, and wisdom is essentially self-awareness. These are transcendent virtues; they can be applied to anything. When all of the BS is swept away, what’s left is a confident, natural, and powerful core.

Most of the work of self-improvement is the maintenance of a positive attitude. This includes the story we tell ourselves about why things happen the way they do. My story is one of redemption in which, no matter what happens, I always end up better than before.



In our darkest hours, sometimes all we have is hope.

Hope, faith, trust, acceptance, love.

Something dissolves when the flood of emotions and pain washes over us. Lost in the darkness, we become our own source of light.

We find that life takes us where it wants, and we no longer struggle against its current.

Hope, redemption, rebirth, grace, love.

We stop trying to live life, and live life, one breath at a time, lessons that can’t be skipped.

The path of spiritual growth spirals upwards. We re-tread the steps, a different view each time. Like flipping a light switch, the way we see things can change in an instant.

There’s more that we don’t know than we know.

Let’s go forward with open hearts and open minds.