I have occasionally been told by those who are close to my journey to live in the present, that I have been, or that I am courageous.
Perhaps I am being courageous, for example in writing this blog.
Perhaps I am being courageous in trying so very hard to change the way I react to happenings in my own life and in the lives of those around me, particularly when they affect me.
Perhaps I am being courageous in acknowledging at a very deep level within me, the truth about my conflicted sexuality after suppression and denial and rejection of this truth for so many difficult years of my life.
I have not felt courageous.
At times I have felt that in suffering for so long in the darkness of isolation and fear, I have been just the opposite, that is to say, weak.
And then there has been that sense of guilt over my past mistakes and the controlling aspects of my behaviours, which came from a place of love, but which were manifest in anger, sulking and mood swings which were depressing in their pattern and frequency.
I have recently been reading Pema Chodron’s book ‘Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better’ which I have referred to in some of my earlier posts.
In this simply wonderful book she talks about the courage we hold within – the courage we experience on the inside when we connect to our inner voice of self love, compassion, understanding and hope.
I have been trying to notice this kind of inner courage, which has been hidden (not purposefully but intrinsically) in my own life.
I have noticed that I have found within me a capacity to listen when others are speaking, holding down the impulse to speak – that’s courage.
[It is not that I don’t speak any more, it is just that I am patient in exercising that practice, having given space to the other person who needs to speak.]
I have noticed that that I have found within me a capacity to stay silent when my old reaction would have been to scream – that’s courage.
[It is not that I don’t scream anymore, it is just that I am patient in giving space to the other person who needs to scream (about the past – and my impact on them) their space to do so.]
I have noticed that I have found within me a capacity to just be – an inward focus which is a deep, deep, deep, scary deep excavation of my self-hood – that’s courage.
[I have created a space to be with self on a very regular basis and this has been for me the bedrock of my awakening to the biggest question of all – who am I?]
I have noticed with greater clarity the needs of my family, and I have reached out to show them that I can be trusted to hold their otherness – to accept their view of the world as being their own which is different to mine – that’s courage.
I have embedded a discipline within my life to notice when I am veering towards judgement of self or judgement of others – that’s courage.
I have embedded a discipline in my life to notice when I am straying away from the present, to the past or to the future, without grounding myself back to the present – that’s courage.
My new found proneness to periods of silence, reflection, perhaps prayer, and this sense of calm, peace and compassion which enables me to love self is my deepest courage!
I hope that you find within the courage you bring to the world – notice it!
My next blog will be: Saved Login