Here's some definitions of courage:
"Strength in the face of pain or grief."
"The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery."
"The power or quality of dealing with or facing danger, fear, pain, etc"
Here are 6 attributes of courage (from Melanie Greenberg, PhD:
- Feeling fear yet choosing to act
- Following your heart
- Persevering in the face of adversity
- Standing up for what is right
- Expanding your horizons, letting go of the familiar
- Facing suffering with dignity or faith
All I really know about courage is from observing friends who have displayed immense amounts of courage. I don't think I'm a very courageous person BUT I do believe I am so very blessed to have people in my life that repeatedly demonstrate courageous acts day after day, minute after minute. They live in a courageous mode.
Ideally we would like to not have to be in any situation that requires courage. We'd create a world where everything goes perfectly and smoothly and nothing bad comes into your life that requires a demonstration of courage. But, since the Law of Attraction and the other Universal Laws are not taught in our childhood as they should be, we develop multiple limiting beliefs that create situations in our lives that will require courage.
I know two people who, in the last 9 months, have been diagnosed with cancer and have endured the treatments with an upbeat attitude despite the pain and discomfort they've had to experience. I admire them both and feel honored to know them.
There is one woman I'd really like to focus on today. She received her diagnosis and projected plan of action about 4 months ago. After the initial shock, she realized, as she put it, she didn't have any "choices". She just had to get up and go with the flow, finding a way to maneuver her work and life schedule in and around the treatment schedule the medical professionals set up (without consideration for our personal lives at times). She dealt with delays that not only created more anxiety but also interfered with conduct of her work schedule. But she took each one of those at a time and handled the situation in an extremely professional manner. She continued in her outside activities. Both her work and these outside requirements were in service of other people. I am sure that this helped because she has spent her life giving and not taking. She is an exceptional person in that regard. I know of nothing she does that has a selfish motive or intent - NOTHING.
Your first question after hearing about how great she is would be "So why did the Universe give her cancer if she's so good?" That is a great question and similar to "Why do kids get cancer? What have they done wrong?" I have many theories regarding these questions but none of them is proven so let's just suffice it to say that there have been forces in life that have brought this disease about.
The more important issue right now is the immense courage of someone like my friend who refused to give up and when they wanted to do something else, she let them, knowing they had her welfare in mind. It was still extremely scary and difficult for her. She had friends and acquaintances around her to help when she was "down" but she still had to endure all of this on her own. That's what it boils down to - do you have that something deep inside that you can draw upon in order to help you put one foot in front of the other?
She could have given up. She could have said "I don't care anymore", "I don't want to go through all this so I'm just going to curl up in my bed and not come out." Many people do that and sit around all day wondering "why me". My friend didn't allow herself to do that. She mustered up all her internal resources - her strong immune system, her amazing will, her desire to help others, and her realization that she just had to go on. It turned out that this immense will to go on living the life she had been living pulled her through at least the first phase of treatment. She experienced fear, pain, uncertainty, anger, bitterness, despair, feeling of loss of control and multiple other emotions (as you can imagine perhaps - I can't possibly imagine what it felt like inside of her). She dealt with each emotion, handling it head on and finding a pathway around it. She conquered everything. I don't like to talk about "battling" something because that puts more energy into it. To conquer, however, is the outcome. Although she has more waiting and treatment to go, she is taking it one step at a time.
I think the "one step at a time" is crucial in talking about courage. It's so easy to get overwhelmed by trying to deal with everything that you're getting bombarded with. When we're overwhelmed, the next "logical" step is inaction or circling the drain, not accomplishing anything positive. When we stop, look at alternative thoughts and actions, we are more able to break it down into measurable activities that you can work with.
Take one part or one emotion and deal with that. If you're depressed, think about why and if you can do anything to mitigate that depression. What would make you feel "differently", not necessarily "better" in your mind. Remember that it's an emotional scale so any movement up that scale is considered positive action even if the emotion is not normally considered positive. For example, anger is a step up from depression on the scale. So, can you work yourself into being angry about something?
Forcing yourself to look closely at these things and take some sort of action (even if it's just getting mad), is the embodiment of courage in my opinion. I applaud anyone who is dealing with any adversity in their life and my friend has my highest accolades. She has been just amazing through the past 4-5 months!
What have you had to show courage in during your life? Put the answer in the comments section and let us know.