Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Courage: you had it all along

"One must always be prepared for endless waves of transformation." 
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

"Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I choose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me. Insisting on this story was a form of mind control, but for the most part, it worked. Every time I heard a sound of unknown origin, or felt something horrible cohering in my imagination, I pushed it away. I simply did not let myself become afraid. Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I will myself to beget power. And it wasn't long before I actually wasn't afraid." 

 Last night I went searching through Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love and Cheryl Strayed's Wild for some inspiration on writing about COURAGE. Courage is defined as mental or moral strength to venture, persevere  and withstand. That quite a hefty vocabulary word. Courage, it would seem, is the currency of life. We are always venturing forward into the known and unknown in equal measure. We persevere, even when we feel we are at our weakest, we continue to grow and expand into who we are, and learn to withstand that which meets us on our way. Courage is present within all of us, ALL OF THE TIME, and all we really have to do is acknowledge that it lives there. We don't have TO BE courageous. We ARE courageous all of the time.

Mrs. Gilbert and Mrs. Strayed are pretty bad ass women; both persevered as their personal choices destroyed their marriages, their bodies, their minds, their thinking, their hearts, their memories, and irrevocably altered their futures. Both women hit their "rock bottom" and instead of giving into the notion that they couldn't possibly be strong enough; courageous enough, to find a new path of living; they charted a course for new and distant shores and set sail. This isn't to say that both women didn't doubt their intentions, motivations, will, and hearts; but it was more important to fight against the life that paralyzed them from creating a future from the ashes of their old self. These two women are my heros. I often think that I am not strong enough to forge a new path, one that is unknown, unruly, unmanned, and untamed. I often think that I don't have the courage to move in a new direction, especially once I've been traveling along the same path for a long time. But, this is precisely the point, courage lives within us all the time. It's only a matter of letting go and letting our courage lead us to new and unknown places, to new experiences. Letting go of FEAR is the first step to giving COURAGE the reins to an uncertain life. 

You are courageous and capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for. Be courageous in your intentions, your actions, and your mind and your life will reveal to you all that you think it's missing. 

Some street art inspiration in Silverlake. 
Some sisterly inspiration. Surround yourself with things that give you hope. 

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