I heard that word, too, when I drove cross country by myself a few years ago. Even then, I was like, no way. That felt like the "right" thing to do. Is that courageous?
I think I have often thought of courage as something that is done in the spur of a moment. Something that is done without thinking - and often for another's benefit.
I suppose I made this up somewhere along the way. I have been told that I take something away from others when I push this label away for myself. For that reason, I am finally looking up the word courage, to see how it is "truly" defined:
Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation
1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery
2. Obsolete. the heart as the source of emotion.
Facing something...without fear. I don't think I could say that I am fearless in my situation. In actuality, I think there is a lot of fear. Driving cross country I don't know that I was afraid, either, but I did have concerns.
A willingness to confront something.
When you have no choice, are you "willing?" In a way, I suppose I had a choice. I could have easily have been dead now. Willing has such mixed connotations and feelings for me.
I had heard that the origin of the word comes from cour- which I believe means, "from/of the heart." Interesting to see it in the definition as obsolete usage, but it makes sense, as how many would really know that? Interestingly, the obsolete definition is the one that I feel fits my situation right now.
More than ever I am living from my heart. More than ever I am speaking from my heart. My life truly is one that comes from my heart and my soul. It can't get any more real. Any attempt to be anything other than I am would be nearly impossible. The idea of it bothers me more than I think I could describe.
I guess that is what happens when you can no longer linger in the idea that life "is." Life only is because it is here - in this moment. There is no tomorrow. There is no today. There is only now, and to be anything other than who we truly are in this moment is a travesty. TRAVESTY.
And yet it is a travesty that we ignore. We get caught up in life and lose sight of the things that should be right, up close and personal - and in our face.
It seems that people are acknowledging me for being what we should all be - at all times, or at least more often than we are. As often is the case, their acknowledgement is probably more about them than it is about me. They see something in me that perhaps they wish they could have for themselves. I know through the years that was the case for me.
There is a lot of freedom in being oneself, more than life deceptively let's us think there is. It is so much easier for me to be who I truly am, without having to pretend that I am something I am not. It seems that when we are truly being who we are, it is the easiest - and most natural thing - be. It's all the other stuff that covers things up and distorts them that makes life complicated. I would say to be courageous is to live by heart, in "good" circumstances and in "bad."
Funny thing words are. I have to wonder how many people who call me "courageous" are calling me it for the reasons I could come to the conclusion that I am. Does it really matter what definition is used? I guess the reason I question it isn't so much the word or the meaning but what goes behind it all. We use the same language and words, but so often we come to different meanings and conclusions because of what we bring to it, and choose to take from it.
So much of who and how I am is someone who questions things. I probably do it too much sometimes. I could just take a word, a label, and be done with it. But, no...I have to be sure that in some way I don't feel like I am being a fraud by accepting it. And, of course, there are some labels I would prefer not to wear in the first place. And others I just don't think fit, that are just plain wrong.
But that's the problem with labels, they're more subjective than people realize. I suspect that labels do more for the creation of our own world than they do for another's. It strikes me that a label is really more about me and how I see the world than it is about the thing or person that I label. Maybe that is why I react to the word "courageous" like I do. It's because even though it is perceived to be a "good" thing, someone else is labeling me, and it seems to me that if someone uses a label I already use for myself, it's OK, but if it's not...it's not so OK.
Once again I went somewhere I did not expect to go. But I like it. I like figuring things out. I like understanding myself better. I like understanding why I react so strongly to some things.
Ayngel has called me a "Survivor," and she'd really like for me to embrace that term. In reading her book, I can see how she comes to it, and why she uses that word. But even though I see how courageous may fit me, I don't know that I am likely to use it for myself. I'll say I live from my heart, rather than use the label that means that. In the same way, I can be a "Survivor" in how I live my life and forego the label. Who and how I am in life is so much more than a label can convey. I would rather be known for the things that I am, rather than the umbrella that encompasses all that I am.
Interesting how I come to these things. I know it is likely to be unusual, but for it to be anything but that, I wouldn't be myself. I wouldn't be courageous. LOL. I couldn't help myself. That was really said with tongue-in-cheek. Having said it, though, I am open to the idea that things could change. One never knows. So much has changed over time. If you had known me 10 years ago, it would have been a different me, and I certainly would not have said that things I have come to today.
Yesterday - twice - I heard how nothing in life is certain, except change. I can't come up with anything to counter that statement, so at the moment, I would have to agree. But there have been things I have agreed with in the past that I have come to see and experience differently, so who knows? That could change. And I reserve the right to always be me, even if it is different than who I was yesterday.
Have a great day. And thanks, as always, for stopping by.
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