On being courageous. . .

Courage: “The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face 
difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear.”

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.


"A Blessing"

I saw this today on Erica Staab’s website (Her site is pretty awesome. The original post can be found here http://ericastaab.com/2012/10/05/a-blessing/). It was exactly what I needed to hear today and wanted to share with you– in case you needed a blessing too. 

A Blessing
May the light of your soul guide you
May the light of your soul bless the work you do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.
John O’Donohue