We snarl at the world, bare our teeth, bite off people’s heads, lie in a corner licking our wounds, claw our way to the top.
And what’s in the belly of the beast, making us cantankerous and dangerous? Pain.
Make them go away (roar).
The best course of action when faced with a wounded, beastly person or situation?
Tame with the treats that humanity craves – love, appreciation, gentleness, pure intentions, compassion, respect, trust, honesty, vulnerability.
The Beauty in the Strength card does not coerce the lion with a whip, trick or manipulate, hurt or punish. She uses her soft touch and lion whispering skills.
Look at her.
Now look at the big-pawed lion.
He’s putty in her hands.
She can playfully pull his whiskers and put her forehead on his forehead and grasp his mane. He’s rumbling a purr in a blissed-out state and going all mushy with ecstasy.
We don’t always need to warrior our way through life, cutting down everything that wages war on us – whether it be people, circumstances, or our own inner workings.
Strength is just what its name says it is: strength to press on despite difficulties (external or internal).
Against all odds, we tame the beast – either by loving ourselves enough to take control of our flaws and challenges, or by lovingly taming what is beastly in another (not a reason to indulge in toxic relationships – some beasts are eternally feral, infecting you and your love and making you sick).
For me, Strength is the mastery separating the men from the boys, the women from the girls. It’s self-knowledge teamed with self-control and self-love.
We gain great strength and endurance by examining our inner monsters with compassion and understanding.
This is not a self-indulgent, evasive refusal to take responsibility for our actions and behavior.
It’s the opposite – we look within ourselves, acknowledging our faults and unsavory tendencies. What next? We witness why we do what we do; what triggers us? Then we counsel ourselves, gently, into adopting healthier coping mechanisms and strategies.
You can only do this if you stand outside yourself long enough to identify the old patterns and itchy wounds that have you behaving in ways you regret or long to overcome.
If you’re never assertive because you’re scared love will be withheld when you stand up for yourself, you’ll buckle when you should brace.
Then you’ll feel resentful and angry…
…you’ll get grumpy and cold…
…and love will be withheld (by you and by those you want to receive it from).
What you tried to avoid you created.
Love yourself enough to compassionately counsel your insecurity: tell it someone will always love you but not everybody can, will, or even needs to.
Create your own counselling script. Keep it gentle, realistic and forgiving. Kindly prepare yourself for ‘the next time this happens.’
It takes strength of character to stand up to ourselves by doing what is necessary to tame the beast, to change, to hold ourselves accountable.
It takes courage to stand up to others with dignity and non-confrontational resolve. Winning a battle without fighting is how we emulate the maiden who grips a handful of mane with unflinching bravery.
We’ll go from strength to strength, one growling, prowling lion at a time.