Courage..’To tell the story of who you are with your whole heart’.
This resonates deeply. True courage for me has meant many things. Never giving up, picking myself up after many falls, and doing things that scare me. But there’s something else- something that for me runs much deeper than anything else.
True courage means never ever letting myself down. Never settling for less than I deserve, never believing that I need to be less than who I really am, and never allowing another persons words or actions to convince me otherwise. True courage means living my life in the way that is real and meaningful to me.
It means that I will never betray myself.
And here’s how I do that
- I live my life the way that feels right to me, and right now for me that means speaking my truth and living life in a way that is not overly socially acceptable. I don’t drink alcohol or caffeine, I don’t eat sugar, processed foods, gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, grains, etc. I don’t have many friends, I don’t make plans, I don’t need to be surrounded by others, I don’t have a partner, I don’t date, I don’t work, I don’t watch tv, I don’t read the newspapers, I don’t gossip, I don’t talk about others behind their backs, I don’t judge those around me or tell them how to live their life and I don’t spend extended periods of time with people who drain my energy. I don’t beat myself up or try to please others. I don’t go to social functions if I don’t feel like it, I don’t do things just to please others. I don’t live in my head worrying and fretting about what may happen. I’m not lonely, I don’t ache for something more.
- What I do do is right for me. I meditate, I walk the beach, I spend time with people I feel connected to, I write, I read, I eat real organic food, I pray, I spend time with my kids, I sometimes go to a movie, I cook, I dance, I paint, go to Ukulele and clay lessons, I ride my bike, I swim, I think and I be. I have the most extraordinary conversations with strangers. I go to yoga, I take notice of what is happening around me, I go slow and I stay as present and in the moment as I can. I focus on the good in the World and implement action around how we can do better. I feel what I need to feel by trying not to push the discomfort away and I make space for others to do the same. I know that everyone has the right to choose how they live their lives and I try to see everyone as God sees them. I say no when I mean it, I’m kind to myself and I constantly remind myself that I am aligned and exactly where I need to be, deeply loved and forever protected. I feel full, loved, connected, whole.
Its taken a lot to get here. I’ve betrayed myself many times over my life. I’ve been in relationships (both romantic and friendships) that have caused me to act in ways that weren’t in alignment with who I really am. I’ve stayed because I didn’t want to be alone, because I didn’t think I deserved better, I didn’t think I had anything much to offer anyone and I believed the words of others who told me that if I left I would never amount to anything. I stayed until I couldn’t.
I’ve stayed in jobs, I’ve let people walk over me, I’ve lost my voice, I’ve let others manipulate and control me, I’ve pushed it all down and tried to numb it out. Ive tried to convince myself that I don’t need anything more than a mediocre life (as long as it looked good from the outside!- as long as others saw me as successful and a high achiever).
I’ve closed my heart off to try and protect myself, thinking that I didn’t need others, I’ve shut down from people that loved me, I’ve pretended that I didn’t need anyone else and I convinced myself that I was nothing but a failure. I’ve lived in fear and denial, guilt, shame and self hatred. I’ve tried to control everything only to have it all fall apart. I’ve spent a long time blaming others for destroying my chance at happiness. I’ve let others dictate my life for far too long. I’ve stayed stuck in the anger, bitterness and resentment. I’ve cared too much about what others think of me and I’ve tried to be both less and more to rid myself of the inner angst and self loathing.
But amongst it all – I’ve done the only thing I needed to do. I’VE NEVER GIVEN UP ON MYSELF. AND I NEVER WILL.
I walked away from a marriage, friendships, my career, the town I lived in, my possessions, a long list of chronic and mental health diagnoses, and a complete breakdown BECAUSE I KNEW DEEP DOWN I COULD HAVE SOMETHING BETTER. I STAYED TRUE TO MYSELF IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE EVEN WHEN IT MEANT HEARTACHE, GRIEF, LOSS AND LONELINESS. That to me is COURAGE, that to me is enough.