Courage: “The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face
BE COURAGEOUS. These two simple words were shared with me by a family member that had received them in a message of encouragement not long after a drunk driver killed my mom, sister-in-law, and niece. At the time I was moved by the simple but powerful message. I jotted it down in my journal later and vowed to make those words my next tattoo.
Over the course of the last several weeks those two words have echoed in my head again and again. It wasn’t until a few days ago though that I actually really got the message. These two words were not only simple and powerful– they were brilliant.
Being courageous applies to everything and everybody in their own way and in their own time. What’s courageous for one, may not be for another. What’s courageous today, may not be tomorrow. What’s courageous for our family now, might not be a year from now. Being courageous knows no boundaries. It allows us to conquer life on our own terms and face our fears on our own time– being courageous allows us to do what we need to, when we need to, so our lives can go on. Being courageous allows to forge (albeit slowly and painfully at times) ahead in our lives no matter what life has to throw at us.
Being courageous is so much more than conquering something big. Being courageous is sometimes just conquering the little things in our everyday lives. I thought of all the courageous things I have witnessed, not only in my family and friends since the crash, but at other times in my life. Then, I realized that I witness people acting courageously all the time. I think of the abuse survivors that I have worked with; I think of the people that I know with addictions, with mental illness, with unhealthy relationships, with physical illness, or of those without jobs, housing, friends, or family– so many people acting courageously every single moment of every single day.
Some days, it’s the little things, like finding the courage to simply get out of bed. Other days, it takes courage just to stay there. It takes courage to reach out when you need help; yet, it also takes courage to go it alone for a while. Some days, it takes courage to be there for somebody when they reach out and some days, it takes courage to give them space when they need it. It takes courage to open your heart to pain (or to the pain of others) but it also takes courage to guard your heart when necessary. It takes courage to cry until you have no more tears; it also takes courage hold back those tears. It takes courage to admit when you are vulnerable; it also takes courage to dig deep and be strong. It takes courage to try and forge ahead with a new life; it also takes courage to accept that life will never be the same. It takes courage to be kind when somebody is insensitive; it also takes courage to not be. It takes courage to admit your fears; it takes even more to face them.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher.
My wish for you (and for myself if truth be told)–no matter what life has thrown at you- is to find some courage today. If not today, maybe tomorrow.