Last week I talked about the importance of liking yourself. Today I want to talk about courage. It takes courage to step out of our comfort zone. Sometimes it even takes courage to like ourselves and to live the life that we want. E.E. Cummings said it beautifully, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Who are we? It takes courage as we begin to figure it out and then take the action steps to become that which is calling to us. Sometimes a major life event occurs and that is the catalyst to beginning this journey. Sometimes we hear a quote or listen to a talk or a song and begin to feel the call. Sometimes it comes through spiritual practice such as meditation, prayer, or sacred writing. For me, the courage that I feel comes from the inner pining, the inner call that I can feel when I am in a quiet space.
For me, I tend to think that my “heros” or people who I look up to have way more courage than I do. I would like to share a bit about just a few of the people who have made a difference for the better in my life. My grief teacher/mentor is someone that I am so grateful to have crossed paths with over 20 years ago. His support, coaching, and willingness to teach me made a difference in the person that I have become and the work that I feel called to do in our world. I remember listening to a practitioner who went on to become a minister and thinking to myself I could never do what they do. Afterall, they seem so peaceful on the platform, their talks are so heart felt, and their prayers touched me to my core. My mentor minister in ministerial school believed in me even when I wasn’t so sure I did. She gave me invitations and assignments that strengthened my strengths and built up my weaknesses. I didn’t realize it in the moment and it took years for me to realize. I have followed a certain life coach for years and she has taught me the importance of having courage to be the person you want to be, to take the time to care for yourself (translation = it’s ok to say no to some requests). Her journey to becoming a coach was an inspiration and gave me the courage to sign up to become a certified life coach myself. In my personal life, several friends and family have taught me the importance of compassion and patience because they have mirrored that to me when I am struggling and needing a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on. Recently a new friend reminded me of the importance of not taking things or people for granted. A great reminder for me and maybe someone else…These are just a few examples and I could go on for hours listing each and every person who has encouraged and supported me throughout my life. I am truly grateful for every friend, family member, co-worker, and those whom have crossed my path in the past 49 years.
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” ― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
In order to step into that which I felt called to do I had to start letting myself be seen. I had to start saying yes to opportunities and taking the time to do the things that I said I wanted to do. I like the support role in life, I like helping, assisting, being behind the scenes if you will. This is my comfort zone and I am finally realizing it. I spent 16 years as a sweeper at Disneyland. We wear white and try to blend into our assigned area while keeping the Park clean and safe. I cherish and treasure my time at the Park. My only regret? Not having more fun. That’s right. I didn’t take the opportunities or say yes to the invitations to have fun. I was too busy being serious and making sure I got everything on my “to do list” done. I worked as a catering assistant and helped my managers from behind the scenes to make sure that different events – anything from conventions to parties were a success. Every thing I have done up until now has been preparing me and yes, inviting me to be challenged, to keep stepping into something greater. Courage is when we say yes in the midst of feeling fear, feeling vulnerable, and not sure of what is going to be the outcome AND we do it anyway. By loving ourselves and having the courage to take whatever time is needed to heal and reveal the wholeness that is within us, we have the opportunity to love deeper than we ever realized we could. It takes courage to answer that call.
I would like to end with a quote by Lao Tzu “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”. The people that I love (and you know who you are if you happen to be reading this) give me the courage every day to answer the call to life, to love, and to serve. Thank you for being the forces that give me the strength to keep going in the direction of my dreams…to continue to strive to reach the goals that I have co-created with the Divine, and to answer the call of love from within me...