I never understood courage. Where does courage really come from? And how? And why?
What can you actually do when you’re possessed by fear and need to get over it and exercise courage?
And why do people alway say ‘that was very courageous of you’ when I never felt courageous I just did what I felt I needed to?
I’ve always found courage to be an interesting human phenomenon. So I looked into it as deep as I could. Here are few things I’ve found:
Courage comes at the end of a road
We all come to an end of a road at some point in our lives. It could be a major road like a big career shift or a separation from a partner we’ve been with for ages. Yet there are also endless little byroads we don't notice we've reached the end of, everyday.
Now, there’s a collective end of big roads and byroads that’s in our face. The end of going to your local coffeeshop, the end of going outside for a night with friends, the end of daily commute to work, the end of chasing endless to-do lists. For some it’s the end of a life of a loved one.
When you come to an end of the road, when you stand there no longer know what to do and where to go, fear makes an appearance.
The voice of fear is always saying only one thing: you don’t know.
Which is true. You really don’t know. But to the mind, the machine that needs to know and do all the time, not knowing is a curse.
For love, not knowing is a blessing. Courage appears when you open your heart at the end of a road.
Commitment is a birth canal to courage
Afraid of stretching ourselves to a new territory we draw a line that signals a safety belt. You see, we cheat ourselves. We tell ourselves ‘this is not the end of something familiar, this is just where I draw the line.’
“You can waste your lives drawing lines.
Or you can live your life crossing them”.
Shonda is one of my favourite people (Creator of Grey’s Anatomy if the name doesn’t ring a bell).
Shonda realised that she was drawing a lot of lines in her life: Saying no to invitations to give talks, to dating, to new experiences. No to anything that was beyond the familiar.
One day she decided to commit for a full year to saying say to everything she would instinctively say no to. The result was nothing short of amazing.
Courage is nothing as fence and heroic is we make of it. Courage comes through commitment. Walking step by step towards the life you want, that lives behind a line.
The mind can hardly imagine what the heart already lives and understands.
Courage and fear are two sides of the same heart
The etymology of courage comes from French and it means - heart.
The sign for courage and the sign for fear in Sign Language are almost the same. Both start from the chest with both finger-spread hands.
Both fear and courage start at the heart.
Where there is fear there is also a possibility for courage. A possibility for love.
LOVE is how I help fear stop being afraid
I am too, making every day something that, to me, is courageous. But without being aware of courage’s way of being I would never say that I’ve found courage.
At the heart of the Buddhist teachings is the Bodhisattva, which is the presence of love.
To be in full presence with what is happening is to Be Love.
Join me in:
5 weeks journey into your unfettered heart
Lets meet ourselves between the fours wall with presence, with connection, with a sense of solid ground beneath our feet, with love.
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Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash