I’ll be the first to confess, that most of my life’s journey has been about finding and developing my courage. I’ve felt like a coward for most of my life, shying away from conflict, and presenting myself as a doormat in many situations. Fortunately, I’m here to tell you that courage can be learned. It’s terrifying, but each time I go out of my comfort zone to speak up, stand up for myself or someone else, or toot my own horn when needed, I’m glad. The caveat is to lead all actions of courage with a heart of love. Ego and aggression have no place in a courageous act, but a pure heart of love is at the core of courage to be yourself.
Since courage can be such a challenge for many of us, I want to celebrate 4 kinds of courage that happen all the time.
1. An obvious act of courage comes from our soldiers that face danger in battle. We commend that courage daily.
2. Other acts of courage come from the people who face battles with illness or dismemberment and have the power of mind to persevere with a positive attitude anyway. It takes a lot of courage. So many lost limbs in the Boston Marathon bombing, and it’s been inspiring to watch some people’s attitudes as they find themselves living life fully despite their trauma.
3. A person who leaves an abusive relationship is extraordinarily courageous. Whether that person is experiencing physical, verbal or emotional abuse, it takes a tremendous act of courage to extract yourself from that situation. If you aren’t sure if you are in an abusive relationship, click here for five signs.
4. On a daily basis, standing up for yourself, takes a lot of courage because it requires you to engage directly with conflict. I used to just say nothing and take it. Then I moved on to saying something, and now I’m learning to stand up for myself with more grace. Each time I stand up for myself, it becomes easier and doesn’t feel like such a large emotional drain. When I do stand up for myself, I find I love myself a little bit more.
There are so many levels of courage, and we are all faced with the challenge to be courageous regularly. I hope you find the courage to be yourself more ease. Have courage today because you can!