Thursday, April 26, 2012

A True Definition of Courage

   Two days ago I witnessed some true courage. "Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and, today, courage is more synonymous with being heroic. Heroics is important and we certainly need heroes, but I think we’ve lost touch with the idea that speaking honestly and openly about who we are, about what we’re feeling, and about our experiences (good and bad) is the definition of courage. Heroics is often about putting our life on the line. Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. In today’s world, that’s pretty extraordinary.1"

Brown, Brene (2010-09-20). The Gifts of Imperfection  Kindle Edition.

    My daughter-in-heart had a particularly bad day and with intense struggle she made the choice to join her children at the lunch table. She could have gone to bed all day since I was there to watch the kids, but she braved the pain and took her place at the head. Some friends dropped in unexpectedly. They were full of cheer with good news, bearing gifts from the garden. They asked how she was feeling and she spoke her mind with all her heart. It was a bad day. Her body was aching everywhere. She was holding on with just a silken cord of strength. When someone is really vulnerable in our presence we often feel uncomfortable because there is nothing we can do to shore up the breach of "confidence". We want people to be fine. That is why we run through the ritual of asking, "How are you?" But why do we always have to have a brave face when there is much in life that is frighteningly out of control? When someone shows this kind of courage I say we should take heart and meet that courage with our own. That may mean doing nothing but witnessing what the person really feels. We are not perfect and most of us have some really bad days.

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