Week 21-MasterKeyExperience- Courage
For our Franklin Makeover Week 8, the virtue I am focused on this week is COURAGE. I thought I would do some research (my favorite thing) on the definition of courage because I never thought of myself as having courage. And to be honest, I don’t know what has kept me going for over 30 years in the face of the unknown, sometimes in the face of failure, when I decided that my mission in life was to make a difference in the world. I have been searching for many years, and I’ve veered off the path many times to follow the whisper of growth and development, but nothing seemed to be IT. Not that I had a really definite path but I just kept being open for when IT would show up. My husband and several people throughout my life have said I am courageous.
But I always thought of myself like the cowardly lion, afraid of my own shadow, a failure. It occurs to me that all of the emotions we are analyzing in the MKE program these past 2 weeks – FEAR, GUILT, ANGER, HURT FEELINGS, and UNWORTHINESS were all I embodied when I was younger.
Question: "What does the Bible say about courage?" Answer: In the Bible, courage is also called "good cheer" as in Mark 6:50 when Jesus gave the command to the disciples who saw Him walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee and coming toward them. The Greek word translated " courage" and "good cheer" mean literally "boldness and confidence." In the Bible, courage is the opposite of fear. When God commands us to fear not, to be of good cheer, and to have courage, He is always commanding against fear, which is the opposite of courage. Then to top it off, one qoute that has bothered me over years.
And then this quote by Marianne Williamson would drive me crazy. It would make me feel worse than I already was in not finding IT.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ”Marianne Williams
As I mentioned before, my husband always tells me that I am courageous. I think he fell for me when many years ago in a meeting, I was standing in front of the room being vulnerable to confess my failures as a leader. AND HE THOUGHT THAT WAS COURAGEOUS. That’s not what I was thinking!!!!!!
So I asked him for his take on my ‘courage’, and this is how he summarized my life: “Jeanne, like all of us, is stopped by fear, but Jeanne examines the cause of the fear, and usually chooses to advance in the face of the danger. She often finds that she can succeed, just by forging ahead into the jaws of danger, and overcoming the threat.
Sometimes she fails, and then she has to drop back and reconnoiter. But none of these failures have been mortal; she has stepped back, and found a way to work around the danger, and advance in spite of it. This is real courage – the ability to advance in the face of fear, and conquer, when possible, and when the odds are overwhelming, to reconsider, and then come at it from another angle. Jeanne is able to accomplish many things which others cannot accomplish because of this courage to recognize fear as a warning, rather than a barrier, and figure out how to advance anyway.” WOW, I never saw my life the way my husband sees it. But when I think about, I guess am like that.
I finally found a article about courage and realized that this is who I am in regard to courage: “the strongest courage comes from the love of something we care about, since our heart will sustain us even when the chips are really down”. It is my burning desire to make a difference in the world that keeps me going. It is an internal drive that won’t let up until I find the answer to my purpose in life. Even if I think I’ve found the answer right now, which is to provide healing to dissolve the blocks (Buddha cement) that get in the way of fulfilling the hero’s journey or one’s burning desire, I must keep open to whatever else may unfold along the path of being of service. I have to keep all of my options open. “You bought another book this week”? We’ll have to find a library for all of your research!!!
AND THE GRAND QUOTE OF THEM ALL ABOUT COURAGE THAT SPEAKS TO MY HEART:
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt