For much of my life, I thought that courage was a one-time event. You came to a moment, mustered the courage, and just did it. Whatever it may be. Perhaps that is true when you are 12, but not so much when you are 37. Challenges are bigger. Life is more complicated. There are others to think about beyond yourself.
Lately, I’ve been looking around my life and inspired by the courage that surrounds me.
Courage to do what is best for one’s self.
Courage to do what is best for one’s family.
Courage to seek treatment.
Courage to leave a toxic relationship.
Courage to chase a dream.
Courage to close a chapter in life that wasn’t meant to be completed.
Courage to be exactly who you are.
Courage to live to see the sun rise another day.
I draw on that inspiration to summon my own courage to do my best each day and venture where I haven’t been before, even if it is uncomfortable. Some days I do better than others, but it is my best at that moment.
What I’ve noticed is that courage is far from a one-time event. Courage is something that is built over time. Sometimes it is weeks and other times it can take years. It is a process of putting away the stores for when you will need to draw upon them in the future. Yet it isn’t a linear process. One can sock away all the courage that they can muster one day, but events of that day can reduce the stock pile to less than where you started. So frustrating and discouraging.
Those are the days we need to draw on our people and take the courage they are willing to share. The ones who love us, even in our brokenness. The ones who will show up, even when we say we want to be left alone. The ones who see us in all of our glory, even when we cannot fathom it to be true. Those are our people and we need to listen to them. We need to believe their words.
If you are in the midst of a long campaign requiring many stockpiles, perhaps more than you believe you can ever muster, know you aren’t alone. Someone has gone before you and someone will follow. While you might feel your courage waning and your will to continue fading, you can do it. I believe in you. You are worth the effort, even if it seems monumental. It’s okay to take a break and just be. You are doing your best and that is enough. I’m really proud of you and thank you for inspiring me.