What does it mean to have courage?
What does it mean to be courageous? Some of the words the dictionary uses are brave, bold, daring, gallant, gritty, mettle, nerve, lion-hearted and valiant. I have been planning to write about courage for some time. I keep putting it off. Perhaps I am trying to find the courage to write about courage.
In her recent book “Rising Strong”, Brene Brown says “We’ve all fallen, and we have the skinned knees and bruised hearts to prove it. But scars are easier to talk about than they are to show, with all the remembered feelings laid bare. And rarely do we see wounds that are in the process of healing. I’m not sure if it’s because we feel too much shame to let anyone see a process as intimate as overcoming hurt, or if its because even when we muster the courage to share our still-incomplete healing , people reflexively look away. Courage is contagious. To bear witness to the human potential for transformation through vulnerability, courage, and tenacity can be either a clarion call for more daring or a painful mirror for those of us stuck in the aftermath of the fall, unwilling or unable to own our stories”.
These are some situations that I have needed to find courage for this year …..
Courage is “rising up” after being betrayed by a narcissistic partner who I trusted and was completely in love with. Another writer I read recently says that a skilled extreme narcissist knows just how to reflect your music back to you so that you feel he has your playlist of favourite songs.
Courage is standing strong in my professional and personal identity when being bullied at work by those who should know better.
Courage is believing in myself despite the circumstances of my life which seem against me.
Courage is willing to be vulnerable and heart-centered in a society that privileges being ‘fine’, being ‘tough’, being ‘successful’ and ‘fake it till you make it’.
Courage is standing up for what I believe in, respecting others who believe differently to me and still being authentic to my own truth.
Courage is not giving up, even when I feel like it.
Sometimes I get tired of trying to find courage yet again, after falling face down in the mud, whatever the life -challenge which caused me to fall in the first place. It is such a gift to find other courageous people who are willing to be honest about their falling and how they have found their way back up again. I so value those honest conversations. They nourish my soul and remind me that life is worth living.