I’ve been thinking a lot about courage lately.
Watching the people who helped during the bombings at the Boston Marathon, I was blown away by the courage it must have taken to run towards an explosion.
On Facebook, I have recently been made aware of a family whose son was injured in a freak weather related accident. The little boy is alive, but has severe injuries, and the family has created this online network of support. They post updates about his path of recovery, and it amazes me how strong and united they are in the face of such a devastating tragedy.
Listening to the radio this morning, my local morning show was reporting on a young girl who lost multiple limbs after contracting a virus. They were commenting on her upbeat and positive attitude, and I was blown away, left wondering, “Could I be so optimistic under the same circumstances?”
It seems that life’s tragedies often provide me with examples of great courage, unbelievable strength and people who have battled great feats only to demonstrate their amazing ability to overcome. These examples are hard to miss, but what about the every day examples of courage that aren’t as obvious?
How does courage demonstrate itself on a smaller scale?
What does it mean to be courageous, and how many of us are aware of our own courage and acts of bravery?
I am often amazed by my clients’ stories. I have the honor and privilege of being entrusted with their truth. They share with me the stories of their struggles and their efforts to overcome obstacles in their lives. The stories I have heard are nothing short of amazing.
Often, when someone makes the choice to work with me, they do so because they are feeling overwhelmed and a bit beat up by life. Committing to the process of change is really making the choice to show up and save their own life, in the hopes of a better and more authentic existence. And this choice, folks, is nothing short of heroic.
Everyone I work with is the hero and she-ro in their own story. They might not realize it, but in the retelling of their story, they should be wearing a cape and body suit (or whatever comic book stereotypical outfit they prefer) fitting of only the most daring and beloved superhero.
We can become so bogged down in our daily life that we may fail to see our own courage.
Every time you choose to be authentic instead of trying to impress others, you are traveling faster than a speeding bullet.
Every time you pick yourself up after falling down and choose to try again, you are demonstrating strength more powerful than a locomotive.
Every time you ignore the voice of the inner critic, and instead choose to be kind and demonstrate compassion towards yourself, you are proverbially leaping tall buildings in a single bound.
Anyone who is striving to live a more authentic life is his or her own personal superhero. I love the image of all of us out there, rocking our capes and superhero outfits. It makes me immediately aware of my own courage and strength, something we all need to be reminded of. I’ve yet to see a superhero movie that didn’t include this scene – the one where someone has to give the superhero in question a pep talk to remind them of their power.
Today I want to remind you that you are a hero. A SUPERHERO! You have courage and strength, and a wealth of power you haven’t even begun to recognize yet.
In an excerpt from Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, she writes:
"The root of the word courage is cou – The Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant, “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”
I encourage you to embrace your courage – your heart. Your everyday acts of kindness and authenticity are your strength. Be open to receiving the truth about your own courage, and let the superhero in you take flight.