What does it take to be courageous?
Stop for a moment, and consider:
What would you say was the most courageous act of your life?
No matter what your current age, you have been courageous many times in your life. Did you notice your courageous acts? Did you honor them?
We’ve come to associate courage with heroics – soldiers on the battlefield.
True courage is not about fighting wars.
True courage is an everyday event that takes places in each of our lives.
True courage is about vulnerability, and the being willing to take personal risks.
According to Brené Brown, in her recent book, The Gifts of Imperfection, the word courage comes from the Latin “cor” and originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” (p. 12)
So I invite you to consider:
When thinking about your most courageous act, did it involve sharing something deeply personal with another person?
Courage was necessary to be born into this life.
Courage is asking for help, instead of putting on a false front of self-reliance.
Courage is being willing to stop blaming your parents for everything that makes you unhappy.
Courage is taking the time to site quietly with a grieving friend, not saying anything, and just allowing your friend to feel his or her feelings of sadness.
Courage is apologizing to someone when you’ve made a mistake – owning that mistake and being willing to admit it to someone else.
Courage is all about taking a risk – the risk of being vulnerable and disappointed.
Courage is sharing your weaknesses without being defensive.
How much courage do you have?
Can you say to someone, “I’m feeling really grumpy today, so if I sound cranky, it’s not about you.”
Can you ask for what you need or want without feeling guilty?
Can you ask for help when you’re afraid?
Courage is about going inside and doing a life review, and then forgiving yourself for everything you discover that brings up feelings of shame, regret, pain, and discomfort.
Courage is about doing the inner house-cleaning necessary to bring infinite unconditional love of yourself to yourself.
Courage is about caring for yourself and others with compassion and non-judgment.
These are acts of courage because they are expressions of vulnerability.
Courage is not about never feeling fear. Courage is about moving forward even when you’re afraid, and especially, it’s about asking for help when you’re afraid.
Courage is about giving up the idea that you have to “do it yourself” or “go it alone.”
We associate courage with lions. Why is that?
Lions live in families. The young males are kicked out when they reach puberty so they won’t compete with their father for reproductive rights or impregnate their mothers, sisters, aunts, and female cousins.
Female lions all live together and share raising the young and hunting cooperatively. They are the true power in a lion pride.
Lions are great hunters, but is that why we associate them with courage?
You can have true courage without being a hunter, without “bringing home the bacon.”
Courage lives inside your heart. It’s an important heart quality. You have it. It’s in there.
If you have doubts about your courage, go into your heart and ask to be shown your most courageous acts. You might be amazed at how courageous you truly are.