July 28


Today's quotation:

Courage begins when we can admit that there is no life without some pain, some frustration; that there is no tragic accident to which we are immune; and that beyond the normal exercise of prudence we can do nothing about it.  But courage goes on to see that the triumph of life is not in pains avoided, but in joys lived completely in the moment of their happening.  Courage lies in never taking so much as a good meal or a day of health and fair weather for granted.  It lies in learning to be aware of our moments of happiness as sharply as our moments of pain.  We need not be afraid to weep when we have cause to weep, so long as we can really rejoice at every cause for rejoicing.

Victoria Lincoln

Today's Meditation:

Most of the courageous people whom I've known have not been the "heroes" that people in our culture tend to put up on pedestals in order to worship.  The truly courageous people have been the students who persevere despite serious learning differences; the people who fight their ways through depression or anxiety in order to create fulfilling lives; the people who have been able to stand up to others who are doing wrong, simply because standing up to them is the right thing to do.

I see courageous people all the time in their wheelchairs or wearing their prosthetic limbs; but there are many more courageous people whom I never recognize because I can't tell that they just lost a loved one or that they've just been told that they have a very serious illness.  These people don't let their circumstances control them--rather, they continue doing what they know is right in spite of all obstacles or problems. 

And as Victoria notes, sometimes courage is just having fun and enjoying ourselves.  Some of us are afraid to let go and feel joy because of the fear that it will be ripped away if we do so--and it takes a great deal of courage to allow ourselves to revel in that joy.  (This is a very common symptom of Adult Children of Alcoholics, or adult children of parents with other addictive behaviors, by the way.)

We will have the down times.  We will face pain and suffering in our lives.  Being happy isn't a question of avoiding pain--which most of us spend much of our time trying to do--but in dealing with that pain and learning from it and moving on with our lives so that we can become inspirations to others who may look to us for inspiration.

Our lives are filled with wonderful moments, sometimes exciting wonderful moments, sometimes peaceful, quiet wonderful moments.  Even some of our painful times are wonderful moments, for they help us to learn to appreciate the times that aren't painful, the days of health and fair weather.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of pain or difficulties do you spend most of your time trying to avoid?

How often are you successful in avoiding them?

How aware are you of your moments of happiness and positive thoughts?

For further thought:

The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.

Robert Ingersoll

more thoughts and ideas on courage



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