I remember, as a little girl, being captivated by the bravery of my father - As a deep sea diver, his work took him to oceans both near and far, deep and wide, so it was not often I could watch him dive. But when he was home, he had a trick or two to share with me! With his wristwatch set for three minutes, he would plunge into the deep end of the freshwater pool, and I, with clenched hands, would wait for him to come up for air. Three minutes is a very long time without air, and to this little girl quite out of the ordinary.
I've been thinking a lot about courage lately and all the ways it shows up in our lives.
In reality, it is not only found in "the out of the ordinary moments" but even the smallest of moments in our days. It is a quality that cannot be measured and holds no bounds. The truth is that courage is what carries simple people through an average day. It is the spiritual strength that gives direction in the midst of confusion. Courage lives in you like it lives in me and takes the willingness to be vulnerable and embrace the unknown.
"It is not the strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Each of us, in one way or another, is called to courage. There are times when we least expect it that life sets in motion a challenge that tests our courage and strength.
I was recently challenged by my body's reaction to an allergic response. Emergency surgery was called for without the option of anesthesia. Fear stirred up inside as I lay there, vulnerable, holding to each breath as my tears washed through me like a river.
"Why this? Why now? Will my life ever be the same?"
More often than not, it is our response to the unexpected that life throws us when if we look closely enough or in a different light, we just might be courageous. Courage is not an action. It is an attitude.
The truth is courage can be found in the way we live in each moment of our lives. It is in accepting the what is. It is feeling the pain. It is listening and trusting. It is sometimes simply putting one foot in front of the other.
Even though the future is unknown for every one of us, we often skate through our days like Olympic athletes until we are forced to boldly slow down and allow our bodies to mend and our hearts to heal.
It is in the quiet moments that I am able to hold the answers... That strength comes from being with what is, and courage moves me forward.
"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it's the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow." ~ Mary Ann Radmacher
Courage is believing in YOU!