Restraint within Leadership. Discipline within Dignity.
When I first came into recovery, I was terrified of becoming a mindless automaton. I had always been a "free spirit". I heard people speaking in jargon and talking endlessly about all the things they did on a daily basis to achieve and maintain recovery. I thought, "I don't want to become some weird pod person!" Instead, what happened was quite the opposite. As I adopted this Disciplined plan of daily action, I continued to become more and more myself every day, month, and year. I developed sure-footed Dignity, and came to be at ease in myself and my way of living. Any spiritual way of life generally has particular actions that go with it - Torah gives us no fewer than 613! They can seem mindless, non-sensical, cookie-cutter at first glance. It is when we begin to take them on that we begin to take them IN, and they become our own. Ultimately, they can help us find a sense of Dignity.
A skilled Leader must know when to give those they lead a little more leeway. Through the Restrained Leadership given to me by my sponsor, I was guided to learn how to make decisions for myself, relying on my relationship with G8d. Much of the time, she would flat-out refuse to tell me what to do! In short, she helped me grow up.
In my parenting, I aspire to provide enough Structure to give my daughter a sense of security, but also to leave enough space for her to build her own experiences, so that she can deeply learn the lessons life has to offer. Through this type of Leadership, she gets to develop her own sense of Dignity. I try to just Love her through the hard parts of learning, and then I get to see her sense of pride in a puzzle solved, a tricky task accomplished.
Today, let us practice Restraint in our Leadership. Let us feel a sense of Dignity in the Discipline in our lives.
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