“What does courage mean to you?”
A friend asked me this question a few days ago and it got me thinking.
I never used to see myself as courageous. Now my opinion has changed, but so has my definition.
I used to believe courageous meant fearless, loud and boldly outspoken. I used to think being brave meant not giving a shit about what anyone thinks, and boldly preaching whatever I believed to be true in the moment, regardless of how it affected other people.
I used to think being bold meant not only never shying away from conflict, but gladly running towards it, a warrior hungry for battle.
I used to think it meant I had to be hard and thick- skinned, and I never wanted to. I never wanted any of those things I thought equal to courage, so when someone first called me brave I quickly shied away.
But, since that first day I had the word pointed at me it has continued to follow me around, like a red thread slowly but surely being woven into the very fabric of my being, and what I used to look at with dismay I now see in a new light.
Now courage, to me, looks like honesty. With myself, with God and with others.
It means admitting when I feel weak, scared and vulnerable and not witholding joy when it fills me up.
It means daring to ask questions to find true answers, and being brave enough to listen to my own heart and run the race set before me, even if other people’s might look different.
It means letting go of control.
It means dreaming big and staying open, even in disappointment.
So, I am courageous. That doesn’t mean I’m never scared- quite the opposite.
But I want to live an honest life, and I’ll be damned if I let fear keep me from it.
(Photo by Faith Vu)