C is for Courage

“Come to the edge,” he said.

“We can’t, we’re afraid!” they responded.

“Come to the edge,” he said.

“We can’t, we will fall!” they responded.

“Come to the edge,” he said.

And so they came.

And he pushed them.

And they flew.

–Guillaume Apollinaire’

C is for Courage. The ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, or uncertainty. Ernest Hemingway referred to it as “grace under pressure.” There are days when it takes a tremendous amount of composure to face the present. The past may be poking and prodding at your back while the future is screaming in your ear, “Take action!”

Philosophers through the ages have professed that dying is easy; it’s living that’s difficult. This is especially true if your life isn’t going as planned, and you’re stumped about what action to take. It seems that the older you get, the more courage you need. You have less time to waste and feel pressured to find and/or fulfill whatever dreams you may have once envisioned. You may have to accept that dreams from your youth will never be obtained and have the determination to create new ones.

No one goes through life unscathed by some sort of crisis, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Sorrow is a part of the human condition. But with courage you can do more than survive misfortune–you can learn and grow from it. You may begin questioning every belief and notion you have staked your life on. Were you living a lie? Were you a fool? If you are unafraid to look deeply and answer honestly, you might find a comforting message: you were doing the best that you could at the time or you would have done otherwise. Stop beating yourself up. By letting go of fear and regret, you let go of the past. By embracing the present, you give yourself a gift: a chance to heal and an opportunity to be your authentic self.

A little bravery is necessary to overcome everyday problems. You must face reality, the here and now, even when feeling inadequate and uncertain. Take time to reflect on what is important in your life, and afterwards, surrender and concentrate on your breathing, being mindful of each inhalation and exhalation. All you have is this very moment. Savor it, looking only for the good. It is there. It may be hidden deep within the folds of your consciousness, but it’s still there. Keep looking. Never stop.

We are constantly evolving, moving from what is to what could be. If we are fearless and receptive to ourselves and to others, we become responsive to the process and transcend all the spheres of existence. With our eyes open, we are free to fly, to choose new paths, to let go of any negative energy and embrace the positive as it occurs.

Courage allows us the choice to appreciate the true beauty called life.



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4 responses to “C is for Courage

  1. Marla Cooper

    Beautiful! Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 16:03:44 +0000 To: mrcooper_@hotmail.com

  2. Thanks for this uplifting message. This is very pertinent to me at the moment, because for one reason or another, I find myself unable to forgive myself for being in a relationship with a particular individual, even though it ended 7 months ago. There was no closure, so I find myself angry not at him, but at myself. What you are saying is that we must let go of fears, regrets, times when you think “how could I have been so stupid” because otherwise we miss the opportunities for healing and authenticity

    We all do the best we can at any given moment in our lives. What “the best” may be changes over time, of course, but it’s the old cliche, there are no mistakes only opportunities for growth 😉

    Courage (and forgiveness) is what it’s all about… self-forgiveness is a sort of courage, too.

    • Yes, the sooner you learn to forgive yourself, the quicker you heal. And the faster you move forward to a more fulfilling life. Thanks for all your kind and thoughtful words. You sound like an amazing young woman.

      • Thank you! I have one more thought to add, which is that conversely the more sparse your life is, the more fulfilling it is. Baggage takes on many different forms, and part of it is having too many distractions to the point where we cannot see the wood for the trees – what is important. Being good to ourselves, forgiving ourselves for things which we regret, takes space, time and energy, and doesn’t happen unless we make conscious efforts to.

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