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A Discourse on Discipline

Updated on December 25, 2011

Oh boy! Here it goes! I made a promise/committment to myself that I would write every single day from now on. That's not a big deal to most people. I know this. It's a big deal to me because, as you know, it is one of my not-so-easy tasks in life to be a disciplined person.

Let me point out something interesting before I start, okay? Did you notice the word "discipline" and "disciple" have the same beginning? Same root word, folks! When I was younger and just becoming a "hard core" religious person, I used to think how cool it must have been to be a disciple of Jesus! "I wanna be just that like that!" I used to say this to myself.

The word "disciple" comes from the Latin word, "discipulus" meaning pupil and "discere" meaning to, I can deal with that. I can accept the fact that I have to learn things in order to understand other things. That's easy and it makes check out the meaning of "discipline":


1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.

2. Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training; self-control.

I used to cringe when I looked up this definition. Self-control? What the heck is self-control? I never had much of that growing up! I knew I had it when I forced myself to be quiet when I was a kid, rather than speak up and get in trouble. I knew I had it when I was scared to express my thoughts to any boyfriends, for fear of being rejected. I used to have it when so many times in my life, people have said things that have broken my heart because they were trying to hurt me or were hurting someone else I loved.

Then I learned that being quiet all those times was not only not totally self-control, it was also fear and insecurity and regret that I didn't have enough self-esteem to have the fortitude to speak up.


I also learned that the discipline I lacked wasn't the kind of discipline that authority figures threatened me with in order to gain control over me. It wasn't the kind of discipline that taught me to accept authority and to obey rules. I learned the discipline I lacked was the kind of discipline that came from self-esteem, self-respect and self-empowerment. I lacked those three aspects of a healthy sense of being, so I would defiantly refuse to have "discipline" out of fear of giving up my own control. It's sad to think that a lot of people who think they have control over themselves, have none at all and so they try to control others to make up the lack from within.

I was scared to have self-control because I was afraid that would mean that I had to be rigorous and steadfast and determined to do something beneficial for myself. I never believed that I deserved that! I didn't believe that I deserved to work out daily to be healthy (which I now do), or that I deserved to eat healthy so I could live a long, fulfilling life (because I used to think that I didn't want to live all that long if my life had to keep being the same way it used to be.) I didn't think that any words I said or thoughts I expressed or ideas I contemplated had any value or were worthy enough to be spread to others, to try to be beneficial to anyone.

Guess what?! Guess what?! I am now old enough (oy vey!) and secure enough and self-esteemed enough to realize that I do have value, I do have worth, some of my ideas are amazing (as I realize I am humble, too, in all my humility!) and that discipline, self-discipline is one of the best things I have ever chosen to do for myself.

There's a saying, "What you resists, persists!" Boy, is that ever the truth! All my life, I kept fighting what I feared, fighting what I didn't understand, fighting what I didn't want to know and for what???!!!! Heartache, grief, regret, all self-imposed....ahhhhh, to have the wisdom I have now and the youth (age, looks, and multitudes of years ahead of me) that I had then!

Please know that each of us has the right to be all we can be. We have dreams that can come true, we have goals we can achieve, we have worth and value and innate greatness, and a purpose for being here that nobody else in the world can take away from us and because of that, we have the right to dream, achieve and fulfill our purpose, no matter how hard it seems to be or how impossible it appears. As I said before, in my last article, "The Resolution Solution", nothing is impossible! "What you can conceive and believe, you can achieve!" I believe in you! Go for it!


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    • profile image

      Lene Lynn 

      8 years ago

      Muva, thank you SO much for reading my work and sharing it! Give my link to your brother, let him read my stuff and then I would love to hear his thoughts, as well! I am so very, very glad that I am helping you in any way I can. You are MORE than welcome! :)

    • imatellmuva profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      Get'n my "Daily Dose of Lne Lynn"! I realized, and especially after reading this hub, that a part of the control, discipline and dogged-determination I have was directed to areas that were of no benefit to me. I didn't see it, or understand it as you describe here. It more than makes sense! I was telling one of my brothers about you. I was marveling at how your words are encouraging, motivating and insightful because IT'S THE TRUTH!! Thanks Lene!

    • Lene Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Lene' Lynn St. John 

      8 years ago from Glendale, AZ

      Thanks for your thought, Sande. I appreciate it. I have to say that I am truly NOT religious, but very spiritual, actually. I used to be religious many years ago...Happy New Year to you! Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Sande Weinstein 

      8 years ago

      Very interesting. I have to start reading some back pages on you Lene'. I had no idea that you were very religous. It's been a long time since I read you. Guess I have some to catch up on. God places tests, some people refer to as "hard times", sometimes synonomous with speedbumps, hurdles, difficulties that are just tests of our character, our chutzpah and we get by them on a daily basis although some tests take more than a day to accomplish. That's what I would call my resolution solution.


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