Kind promise: I will share strengths.
This promise is unlike most others because it has no adverb attached. Other promises are done gracefully, tenderly, patiently and whimsically. This promise just stands there, stolid. I have been noodling, the last few days, with what I can add to this promise.
I am in a season of overcommitment. These are not uncommon and I don’t like that about myself. I want to stay away from “share generously.” I certainly don’t want to “share sacrificially.” Instead, in this body, I want to challenge the monster-thinking that I am weak and of no value without, on the other hand, exhausting myself. “Share prudently” just has no poetry in it.
Looking at the thesaurus, I am sure: carefully, cautiously, frugally… Those are not ways I want to share.
What is it I am seeking?
I want to be who I am how loud. In the middle of writing that sentence, the adverb came to me: joyously. Do I use that word elsewhere in the promises? I live joyfully without reason, so I would rather have a different word. I don’t like cheerfully, blissfully or gaily. I don’t want to force myself to be positive. I want to share what I have in a way that doesn’t leave me lacking. I want to share without controlling.
In the previous promise, I decided what attitude I want to have toward weakness: tenderness. What attitude do I want to have toward strength?
I return to prudently and find loads of judgment for its sisters. Soberly, shrewdly, judiciously… All of them are dressed like Quakers and have no humor. Perhaps the problem is not with the words themselves, but in my thinking. One sister is a bit less dour: wisely. I want a relationship in which I am neither less than the other person nor more. I want to be strong without making other people weak. (I hear my meditation teachers saying “not too tight; not too loose.”)
Prudent: wise or judicious in practical affairs; sagacious; discrete or circumspect; sober.
Wise: having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment or discretion.
I will share strengths wisely still lacks poetry and bounce, but it does allow for both generosity and caution. Let me amend the promise (in my thinking) for a couple weeks and see how it flies…