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In recent experience, a dear relative who is going through an anxious time but is continuing in the direction of what she values. That’s the story of so many people. The courage that goes under the radar and isn’t celebrated or made into movies. But if it’s a movie to inspire on courage The Siege of Jadotville springs to mind: a small UN force (Irish) holding their position against impossible odds.
I just looked up the history of that Siege, Malag. It looks fascinating! Thank you for sharing it.
You’re welcome Holly in Ohio
Definitely my Mum who lives with a chronic illness and great pain every day but remains positive and proactive. She sets a high standard to live up to!! My husband’s Mum, who lost her beloved husband too young and, although grieving deeply, said firmly “it can’t be changed, we just have to get on with it” – and she did!
Workers on the front line in any emergency – to knowingly put yourself into danger for other people’s sake is awe inspiring and heartening.
And, finally, all the people in this community who bravely share their stories and their way of coping positively with life despite everything that has happened to them.
My Guruiji. To experience the depths and dimensions of the spiritual path that only a very few experience and yet remain in this world to selflessly share for the benefit of others. Devotion beyond my ability to comprehend.
My ex husbands courage has inspired me. He goes of on assignments everyday with a set of instructions not knowing what he’s going to come up against a lot of times. It’s not something most people can do.
The courage to face life as a widow after being in a relationship for 43+ years. It took facing fears. It took grieving for love lost. It took time to heal and to love once again. Am I unwavering? No, of course not. I am blessed, though, and in love with life! For that I am so incredibly grateful.
My phone massage person swims in the ocean year round! [near San Francisco CA]
Good Morning, I don’t think you can speak of courage without speaking of trust. It’s when we learn to trust ourselves that we can act courageously. It’s when principles are more important than power or control, that we speak our truth. I wrote this journal entry in January of 2018 before the word Pandemic entered my daily vocabulary and before my own health (not by COVID) was drastically compromised that spring. After reading what others have shared, I was prompted to share it.
Morning Meds Jan 10 2018 Courage and Trust
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” Confucious
Researcher and author Brenne Brown often speaks of the importance of courage and trust. She points out that the word courage came into the English language from the Latin word cor which means heart.
She is often quoted as saying, “…Tell the story of who you are with your whole heart,” or “…Let go of who you should be so you can be who you are.”
Ten years of parochial school left me branded. I let others define who I was because I thought that was the only way God would or could love me. I was stalked by the “shackles of should” from an early age. I sought validation and trusting my self was a foreign concept.
Many, many years later when I was in my forties, I had a dear friend and former priest who used to shake his head and say “Carol, trust yourself.” He actually encouraged me to buy the music to the song, “I Am Woman,” and learn the lyrics. The first line of which is “I am woman hear me roar.”
He was basically saying until you build a relationship of trust within yourself, you will have difficulty trusting Life because you won’t even know who you are and when you do not know who you are, how can you go any where with all your heart?
I honestly think that sometimes we just have to fake it until we can make it. I know I did that for years. As they say in twelve-step circles, “Walk the talk.” Do your best to be honest with yourself because that kind of willingness builds trust and trust nurtures courage, softens hearts and opens them wide. In time, you realize that self-acceptance is vital because if you can’t embrace your own gifts and shortcomings wholeheartedly then wherever you go, part of your heart will lag behind and won’t be able to join you fully on your journey.
We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released. Jean Houston
My massage therapist often encourages me to take a deep breath and think relax and release. She wishes for me to feel like I’m melting into the massage table, going with the flow of life that is my birthright.
In Scriptural terms, that’s the wedding garment that we all and always possess but fail to recognize. You can’t buy it. You can’t barter for it. You have to trust enough and have the courage to little by little Let go and Let it Be…knowing it is always available to you.
I leave you with a quote from Thomas Merton who said that we are all shining like the sun.”
“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world. . . . This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud… And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed.” Thomas Merton from his book, “Conjectures of A Guilty Bystander”
Thank You, Carol
That was lovely, Carol.
Thank you, Carol, for sharing your story and Thomas Merton’s – I just realized that ‘should’ rhymes with ‘Good’, which is how I was raised to be. And I went off to college without ever rebelling and getting some more reasonable standards established, leaving my brother to take on the whole project of rebellion. 🙁
A few people come to mind that have battled with addiction and now lead productive lives inspiring others to do the same without seeking recognition or praise and humbly serve others that are afflicted. That takes integrity and courage to maintain sobriety helping those who still suffer.
Anyone who beats an addiction is my hero.
My children. I remember so clearly as a child wanting to please everyone. I remember thinking that I had to make choices that would make everyone else’s life easier even if I knew it was the wrong choice for me. I remember being afraid to try something new if it might make it harder for the team to win or if the coach might get stressed out because I wasn’t any good. None of my kids is that way and as an adult with adult children, I am inspired by them to be courageous – to try new things – to say “no” – to speak my mind (kindly and with compassion) but still, to speak my mind and have an opinion which I am comfortable defending even if others don’t share.
Thank you, Erica – you, too – one of the women who grew up believing we Should be Good 😌
People who face the humiliation of chemo and other treatment in the hope of more life with their loved ones and more time to serve others; and front line workers in the face of this pandemic.
The people who have taught me the most about courage are women survivors of violence. To persevere through unthinkable torture & then shine hope onto others seems incredible to me. I’ve been so fortunate to have met hundreds of women who demonstrate this type of courage. May we all learn from them…..
My father was a POW for 42 months during WWII. He survived. Later he taught me not to hate my enemies because he didn’t. I learned courage from him and gratitude in all things.
Wow, Roy Howard – what a lesson to learn from your father, after the experience he had had.
Terry Fox, the young man in 1980 who in spite of leg cancer, he ran with one leg trying to go from the east to west coast of Canada with his Marathon of Hope. His intent was to bring awareness of cancer and raise money for cancer research. Unfortunately Terry succumbed to his cancer and never finished his dream. His tenacity and strength is and still is an inspiration to me..
It would be my preference to come to this site and not see anybody say anything of politics, unless there is a specific accomplishment for the people that you can point to. For six weeks leading up to thier presidential Convention, our cities burned under riots. 10,000 businesses of innocent people were destroyed 2.3 billion dollars was the estimated amount of damage and 25 people died. Not one word of it was mentioned at the Democratic Convention . That can only be because these people were perceived to be for their party. 200 nutjobs storm the Senate and the left thinks that’s the end of democracy. The Obama administration had eight years to solve the immigration prices and a path for the poor doc of children to become citizens. Nothing was done. Compassion without action and resolve is yet one more proof that government is broken. As a registered independent, I pray everyday that this country will come together for a common good.
For me my two Heroes are the priests and Laity that keep my church going. It serves the community poor and all of its members in need. These people offer their time and in the case of the priests surrender their lives for their parishioners. Brother David teindl-Rast case, Benedictine monks surrender everything their lives, ownership of any material things and that thier acquisitions, even of knowledge is to share it with the world as a sacrifice for the people.
Dear 333USA, We hear you on your preference to “not see anybody say anything of politics, unless there is a specific accomplishment for the people that you can point to.” In the interest of maintaining an inviting and trustworthy space for the cultivation of the core values of grateful living, we have created guidelines we invite you and others to review and take to heart. Here is a link to the guidelines: https://gratefulness.org/community-engagement-guidelines/ You can also find them if you scroll all the way down on the very bottom left of your screen. We appreciate that, on the whole, those of you who engage in these shared spaces tend to the space and each other with responsibility and care, which feels precious (in an online world where this is so frequently not the case), and for this we are grateful.
Serafina, thank you for gently and graciously reminding 333USA of the guidelines.
Front line workers over all these many months, and their families.
Funny-not-funny, how economic and other dependencies tend to look like courage in the eyes of those of us with options.
Yes, Javier, but just because they had little choice doesn’t mean it didn’t require courage. People facing life-threatening disease have no choice about their diagnosis, but usually have courage in facing it. People in war-torn and deeply impoverished nations have little choice, and may need to summon courage each day. I’m not sure that not having a choice diminishes the courage.
Indeed, HollyinOhio, “having nothing left to lose” is the often origin of one’s courage. I’ll try to direct that feel toward courage and less like a fool on my next shift.
Lol! You are hardly a fool! I hope you have a good shift, though.
My own courage has inspired me to recognize the powerful strength and courage that I have within….one small step at a time.
Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish environmental activist, is truly an inspiration. Her fearless, direct, and unvarnished manner of confronting world powers is so refreshing. Or, as she was quoted saying a few days ago, “Our “so called” role models” indeed have some work to do,” answers the “why” in today’s question succinctly.
I agree. And it brings up something that occurred to me about today’s question. So many times the people we see as being most courageous, don’t see themselves as courageous, in fact in those moments of courage they aren’t thinking about themselves at all, but are thinking of others, with love. Love brings them to “Doing what needs to be done,” without any thought of how large or dangerous or even impossible the task.
My dad for sure. The way he faced his cancer diagnosis towards the end of his life; how he did everything possible to have more time with mom. My mom had great courage in her ten year journey with Alzheimer’s. She often said she could do anything because it was only temporary. She was still teaching me life lessons even at the end of her days. Courage is not an abstract concept. It is how life is faced everyday.
Many people inspire me with their courage – my daughter who moved to Hawaii – that takes courage to be so far away from family and friends. Patients in hospitals undergoing treatments – I”m sure they’re scared but brave and have courage.
At the moment? Liz Cheney. Anyone who stands up to brutes and bullies for the sake of truth. The reactions it has provoked has revealed so much about her adversaries. I intuit that there are also some lessons she is learning in the process and has ways to identify with the efforts of others standing for truth in the face of injustice that power is desperate to eliminate. Not that we will ever hear of that but it could temper her politics. Either way I can say I am inspired by it as it indicates that some of our leaders are, in fact, leaders. I do not have to agree with her politics to respect her.
Cool – Liz Cheney – thanks, Howie
I could not have said that better, Howie. Thank you!
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