Saturday, October 10, 2015

Courageous or Cowardly?

Just saying the word "courageous" makes me feel good. I get a sense of strength and renewal. It's kinda like when you enter a peaceful, small town coffee shop. There is a small hum of friendliness and an aroma of warmth in the air. Saying "courageous" is like entering a room that brings thoughts of being strong and capable.

It is a good word. COURAGEOUS.

We all (this is an assumption) would like to be courageous. I think that we can all admit that there have been times in life when our courage floundered and the Cowardly Lion made an appearance, with all of the tail-holding, tear-crying, boo-hooing that has ever been seen.

I am currently reading Brene Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection. She writes that while we may desire courage, we seldom talk about the "how" to get it. It is scary to talk about the cracks in our imperfect self to discover the how. Here is a bit from Brown's book that I think is really thought provoking:

"Courage sounds great, but we need to talk about how it requires us to let go of what other people think, and for most of us, that's scary. Compassion is something we all want, but are we willing to look at why boundary-setting and saying no is a critical component of compassion? Are we willing to say no, even if we're disappointing someone?"

Most of us want to belong so much, we are willing to side-step what we know to be real, true, or right for our lives. We can call it compassion but is it really?

This question about courage is definitely worth investigating. I know I enjoy the welcoming hum and aroma of the coffee shop. I would walk through rain, snow, sleet, and dark of night for an extra hot toffee nut mocha. It is worth much more to be honest with myself, to let go of the overwhelming desire to belong that creates such cowardice in me, and seek Courage!

Goodbye, Cowardly Lion...I am off to find my yellow-brick road of COURAGE.