Courage Shines Through

imageAll day I’ve been trying to get myself organised so I can go away on my creative retreat tomorrow. I had all the little bits and pieces planned. Of course I had to throw that plan in the bin from the moment I woke up.

There were other priorities that bumped my stuff down the list. So I’m writing my blog rather later than expected with my bag still not packed. I’ll catch myself up eventually. And I can always sleep on the train or plane. What was more important today was to listen to the quiet courage of several people dealing with the bumps in life’s highway. As they spoke I could see their strength and that courage shining through. They were all determined to get through this troubled, turbulent time as well as they could. It made me think about what brings that courage out in us.

Is it pure survival instinct? I know that there have been times when I’ve had to dig deep to make sure I had the necessities in life. When I’ve felt myself wanting so much to give up and give in. I’ve been in that spot of deciding if I wanted to be alive at all. Did I step back from that choice because I was too full of life force? Was my survival because I don’t want to quit on anything? I’m not sure there is an easy answer. Because I’ve also been through experiences where I felt my emotions would overwhelm me. That if I started to cry I would never stop. Where I stretched myself thin and then thinner. Somehow I turned that around. Digging deep again I got through. Was that courage?

Some of those times were full of fear. Fearful thought flooded my mind over and over. It seemed impossible to still my mind.

Yet what I learned about myself was all the imagined outcomes that were never likely to happen to me. I learned all about the adrenalin rush of living with fear on a daily basis. There was a lot of work involved in getting my fear to manageable proportions. Stepping into the flow of my thoughts I had to start removing the fearful ones. But at the same time I had to love and embrace those fears. Fear happens to help us survive. It’s a normal reaction. Is it fear that sparks courage? Is it one emotion balancing out the other?

Listening to these lovely people talk about what they face at the moment I felt humbled. They are stepping through difficult times with love, laughter and a recognition that fear is a natural response. I’m sure they would tell me they aren’t being brave at all. All of them have learned to ¬†face their challenges by loving themselves. I’m sure they will all do incredibly well. And I know that underneath all of my fear was something really special. I loved myself enough not to give up on myself. Just like these inspiring people who brought me rays of sunshine today.

Day 302 of my blogging challenge.

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