Courage

Courage:

Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.

That word has really been resonating with me lately.  I have some people in my life who need it right now.  Although it is free, it is sometimes hard to grasp.  In order to persevere you need to have bravery and patience. 

I think it’s the latter of the two that give me pause.  I have no problem smearing war paint on my body and running into battle screaming and waving an axe about.  However, if you tell me I’m going to have to do this in a month.  I’m probably going to lose interest and decide I’d rather just move than fight for my freedom, land, blah blah.

Also, if you told me I’d have to battle now, and tomorrow and next month so that next year I could live a cozy and war-free life… I would still give pause because that’s a lot of struggle and strife just to live better later… when I’m suffering now.

Now, end the scene on the battle field and imagine someone in the middle of some sort of life turmoil (pick one, I’m sure you are having one on some level or another right now).  It is the same concept.  You know that the next month, six months or year will be a battle.  Every day. To get up, get dressed, go to work, shower, eat and do mundane tasks to get by. 

All the while you are wearing your turmoil like one of those pregnancy bellies that teenagers have to wear.  It’s totally hot, sweaty and uncomfortable.  However your turmoil is invisible so not only are you hot, sweaty and uncomfortable, but no one else knows why and they just think you are a cranky person.

What advise do you get from the kind, loving people in your life?

Time heals all wounds.

This too shall pass.

Time will go on.

These three phrases separately are just about the last thing someone going through anything traumatic wants to hear.  Mostly because they all infer that at some unknown point in the future, things will be better. But for now, right now… your life still sucks.  Sorry. 

It is infuriating to hear.  I know that when I’ve been told these generic phrases in the past, I’ve been tempted to pull a three stooges “Curly” move and poke someone in the eye while dancing around them and slapping my own face.  Heal that.

To really be meaningful advice they should be combined and messaged differently.  Something like:

These things are for certain; Time heals all wounds, time (whether slow or fast) will pass.  It’s how you spend that time that will define your healing and recovery. 

That is what they can work on, focus on  and deal with right now.  Something tangible and a distraction (which we all know makes time go faster).  If someone can focus 5 minutes of their day on something positive.  Maybe they can write a list of good things in their life.  Just writing the list means they are alive, have hands and can spell!  Congratulations, you’re better off than a lot of other people in this world. 

During times of struggle and adversity is when the really true tests of someone’s character rise.  Do you want to look back at yourself and think, boy was I courageous and I don’t know how I did it?  Or do you want to look back and think, huh… no wonder I gained 30 pounds, have no friends and a DUI?  (The answer was the first one in case you were pondering those options at all)

Look for good, you’ll find it.  Give yourself excuses and opportunities to be courageous, you’ll surprise yourself.  Throw away that damn calendar because just like a watched pot, a watched calendar doesn’t boil either… neither does it make the time go faster.

Be Courageous.

Be Brave.

Give yourself many reasons to be proud of the person you are, when you look back at the person you were during tough times.

… And if you can’t do either of those for yourself, do it for the people around you who count on you, love you and don’t want to bail you out of jail for having a Britney Spears inspired meltdown.

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