What is courage?

Courage rarely explodes in a rush of love and sunlight.  Those incidences occur, but they are rare.

Mostly, courage is a fraction.  A part of a whole.  A whisper that says “I know you’re scared, but stand your ground this time.”

Courage is diminutive.  It rolls with the tide and changes shape.  It swells and sighs and alters its opinions depending on the situation.

Courage is a long road between the mountains.

Courage is speaking out when everyone else is silent.

Courage is remaining silent when everyone else is shouting.

Courage is pursuing your dreams quietly, diligently, despite the doubt and sacrifice.

Courage is sitting alone in a crowded cafe, tasting every drop of your coffee and soaking up the life around you.

Courage is waking up tired and anxious and resolving to get up and take your day one moment at a time.

Courage is doing the right thing, when it is not exciting, expedient or easy.

Courage is knowing, without arrogance or boastfulness, that you are worthy and that every other living soul is too.

Courage is forgiving the person who ripped out your heart.

Courage is asking for forgiveness, from yourself and others.

Courage is first accepting the current situation as it is, no matter how unpalatable.

Courage is being vulnerable and tender when the world seems cold and distant.

Courage is saying ‘good morning’ and smiling at another person, whether you get a response or not.

Courage is loving someone, knowing that you will lose them.

Courage is being silly.  Being kind.  Dancing.  Crying.  Laughing wholeheartedly.  Making that difficult phone call, listening to that emotional song.

Courage is sitting still and breathing deeply, when every nerve in your body is on fire and every impulse screams for you to yell at someone or throw your belongings through that lousy wall.

As Pema Chodron says–courage is sitting with that hot anger and fear for 3 seconds when, yesterday, you could only bear to sit with it for 0.5 seconds.  

That is the way of the warrior.

About Louise

18 thoughts on “What is courage?

  1. Terrific post!! Loved each definition of courage! Yes, courage is standing up to all those challenges and turbulences and walking away with more determination in our heart, knowing deep within what it takes to develop that courage.
    Thanks for your visit, which guided my way here to read your reflective posts.

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and that it resonated with you. Wishing you a wonderful day.

  2. I feel like courage is something that is rarely talked about, explained or described and this is so beautiful for it covers every and all topics of that courage could be! What a wonderful read!

    xo, JJ

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