A place for my thoughts

Courage to Be

“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”   e. e. Cummings


The moment  I read this quote a part of me thought  “No.  I can’t write about courage.  I don’t have it in me.”  That’s how my  mind works against me.  I almost bought into it but caught myself.  I am going to write about it because I have fought hard to attain the courage to do this.

Courage is “the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement.  In some traditions, fortitude holds approximately the same meaning as courage.  (Wikipedia)

Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

My last active insanity session came during a time in my life when I couldn’t cope with the reality of a situation over which I felt I had no control.  I thought it would go away and when it didn’t I went into denial and then into dis-ease.  It was like a living nightmare.  In dis-ease I become another person; dark and depressed.  I came to every morning and went to work; grimly facing the day with a pair of dark glasses and constant anxiety.  Towards the end I had to have a drink before I got to work.  At the end I drove almost 20 miles in a blackout on the wrong side of a two lane road with two police cars following me.  I didn’t see them.  It is said there are three ends for an alcoholic:  jail, institutions or death.  That final spiral downwards, and I don’t use the word final loosely, took me to places I never want to visit again and it’s only by G.O.D.’s grace I haven’t died.

When I came out of my fog I had several years of guilt, anger, fear, anxiety and shame to run through the shredder.  I was overwhelmed by my emotions.  Thank G.O.D. that my friends were there for me. I couldn’t have done it without their encouragement, love and (sometimes not so) gentle pushes.  Once on the road to freedom I had to learn to live with myself.  I had to forgive myself and all those “others”.  I had to learn to love myself and I had to learn how to love/live life as a responsible adult.  That was a big mouthful to swallow but the work I did, and still do, has rewarded me.

In the beginning I was terribly uncomfortable when I had to go “out in the world”.   I was very unsure of myself and my self-esteem was at rock bottom.  I had embarrassed myself beyond beyond.  I thought that everyone in town was talking about me and it made me crazy.  I couldn’t do what I wanted to do to alleviate the pain and thus the work, the research, the prayer and meditation began in earnest. Slowly it became easier  and my anxieties calmed down.  I realized that what other people thought of me was none of my business.  I found myself having the courage to go places, like the local market and post office, where I would inevitably run into someone looking at me as a juicy bit of gossip.  I found the courage to look back, smile and say “I couldn’t be better” when asked (and yes, many times, asked in a condescending manner) how I was.  My family saw changes and welcomed me “back”.   The guilt and shame slowly left.  I began to recognize my assets while removing the liabilities.  Today I have the courage to express my feeling and emotions, views and thoughts and can get usually get them up and out before they tear me up. I still have problems holding on sometimes.  I have the courage to post these blogs.  This is one of the more courageous thing I’ve ever done, and I do it with hopes it helps someone else at some time.  For some reason, it helps me.  It feels damn good having the courage to just be.

Image:  Strength VIII – Kay Steventon’s Spiral Tarot



Comments on: "Courage to Be" (4)

  1. A beautiful post!

    “It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.” E. E. Cummings

    Great quote. I used to think that courage was putting on your most menacing looking face and showing aggression in some manner to address whatever was in front of you. Real mature. And 180 degrees from what courage truly is.

    Two years into sobriety, dealing with the loads of wreckage, overwhelming guilt, remorse and contrition, I was struck with the realization that I just may be emotionally immature. It didn’t take long for the full picture to emerge and suddenly I had another couple of large boulder to drag around.

    There is a song by Enigma, Return to Innocence, that begins with the lyrics “Don’t be afraid to be week. Don’t be too proud to be strong. Just take a look into your heart my friend. It will be the return to yourself, the return to innocence’. Those have been comforting and motivating lyrics for me and have guided me to the true meaning of courage.

    So at 47, I accepted my emotional immaturity. They say that your emotional maturity seizes at the point that you were abused. Yep, I would agree with that.

    • I understand what you’re talking about. When we come out of our coma’s we have so much to deal with. Life on life’s terms is just one and yes, it’s major. We’ve been like little kids playing grownup and we may find it’s not all fun and games when the mental, emotional and spiritual issues/questions start coming up . Personally, I’ve found astrology to be one good tool for me. I get a heads up on what may be going on in my life and can be ready for it if it rears its head. This is part of my journey. As I’ve heard many times, “As above, so below”. And yes! I love Enigma. Thank you for commenting !

  2. You and I have a great deal in common. Thank you and you’ve inspired me today with your courage!

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