Have courage

What does it Mean to have Courage?

What does it mean to be courageous? Some 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. However, I seem to keep putting it off. Perhaps I am trying to find the courage to write about courage.

In Brene Brown’s recent book, “Rising Strong”, she 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” after being betrayed by a narcissistic partner who I  trusted and with who I was utterly in love. 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 firm 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-centred in a society that privileges being ‘fine’, ‘tough’, ‘successful’ and ‘fake it until 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 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.


Clinician, Lecturer, Group Facilitator, Educator and Supervisor in Education, Social Services and Mental Health.

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  • Amanda BURCHELL
    August 22, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    An example of courage: Being left with 2 infants aged 3 & 4 when you have no job skills, no qualifications and you have to find somewhere to live and the money to pay for the rent, food & childcare while you go to work. Spending $400 on a discounted course for training as a receptionist/secretary (and learning to type – FAST!!) – then being sent on a job interview half way into the course to a LAW FIRM – and – after 2 interviews … you GET THE JOB!! That was the start of a journey where, in the mid to late 1980’s a woman, going for a home loan was still quite unusual. I found a female bank manager (by chance, at the ANZ) and got a home loan for a small, 2 bedroomed unit for my sons and I. They’re now in their mid 30’s so this story is over 30 years old! But I learned that ‘Necessity is the Mother of Invention’ – and I reinvented myself.

    • rosmlewis
      Rosalind Lewis
      August 24, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Amanda ,
      Wow ! You sure needed lots of courage back then ! Thanks so much for sharing ! It is so important to honour ourselves for our courage and resilience in times of challenge and difficulty. It is also so important to honour each other and acknowledge all it takes to pick ourselves up after a fall !
      Kia Kaha ( be strong, be of good courage)

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About me

Rosalind Lewis

Rosalind Lewis

Professionally I have 33 years experience as a Clinician, Lecturer, Group Facilitator, Educator and Supervisor in Education, Social Services and Mental Health. I currently live in Melbourne, Australia and work in Mental Health. I have a particular interest in supporting and empowering women and men to be all they can be, by assisting the discovery of tools that help them find strength to transform difficulties into opportunities, enriching their lives both personally and professionally. I am a New Zealand Registered Psychotherapist with PBANZ, member of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists and have a Masters of Health Science (Psychotherapy) First Class Honours. My research thesis was about the long term consequences of intimate partner violence for women. I am influenced and informed by both my professional experiences and my own personal journey, which has involved many challenges and celebrations along the way.