COURAGE

There have been times in my life that serve as pivotal moments – moments when I have tapped into the courage that is needed to believe, trust, jump, speak, create, and communicate.  When felt, this courage burns within me to free me from fear, empower me to fight, and overwhelm me with overt action that moves me to a new level of existence. 

Today encapsulates one of those moments.  Last week was emotionally draining for me.  In this current week, there are specific experiences that I must face that have the potential to tax on my emotional state even more.  When I connect to these challenges, I tend to cower – entering a world of self-doubt and fear.  This is where I began my day – wondering through the emotional arid wasteland of misdirected patterns.   Disbelief in self is a dangerous and hateful place to live.  

As I face what I believe will be some of the most important transitions of my life, I must interact with past patterns in order to free myself toward the next level of conscious existence – into the life that I know awaits.  This is what motivated me to write the phrase that lives embedded in the photograph of me on my home page: “Believe in the possibilities… Your world awaits.” 

All my life, I have allowed people to manipulate me (intentionally or unintentionally – it doesn’t matter) into decisions, roles, and patterns that they felt I should embrace.  Whether individuals or institutions, my patterns have been the same:  wanting to please and conversely not wanting to disappoint; wanting to solve other people’s problems and putting my problems on the back burner; wanting to help people succeed with their priorities while my priorities remain unattended.  I understand that the problems have been with me – not anyone else.  I need to change these patterns within me.

It takes courage to face these realities about myself.  It takes even more courage to live differently on a daily basis.  Courage requires believing in myself and being willing to risk whatever is necessary in order to live into my greatest potential.  Until then, I am simply cheating the world, the people around me, and myself. 

There is a great deal in my life experience that has given me reason to fear.  I have had fear about who I might be; fear about how I might fail; fear about what people might think of me; fear about God and spirituality; fear of disappointing the people I love and that love me.  Fear, it seems to me, has something to do with the absence of helpful belief.  Courage, however, is the presence of belief in all things helpful. 

I just finished a conversation with one of my dearest friends and colleagues.  Through this conversation, I was reminded where my belief is:  it is in my connection to the gracious warrior spirit of my paternal grandfather; it is in understanding myself; it is in my connection with my immediate family – the people who know me best of all; and it is in my understanding of my own personal calling to live my life with joy, freedom, and the creative forces that will not let my spirit go. 

In the photograph on my homepage, I stand confidently with my arms outstretched – in hope that many good things will come as I step out with courage to embrace it all.  I hope my realization of these truths in this day will help you as you courageously face what fears might hold you back and, better yet, what your greatest opportunities might be.