This week I was noticing courage in people’s everyday lives that we may not think of as courage. Often we reserve the premise of courage for the brave warriors of the world. But it takes some elements of courage to just meet what life delivers us each day.
I ran into an old friend on the street this week that I’ve not seen in years. She is a talented artist that I know from the One of a Kind community and whom I have much respect for. It warmed my heart to see her. She looked as radiant as the sunny spring day.
After a sweet brief exchange on the sidewalk, she continued to walk to the passenger side of her car to help her husband out. Her husband had a major heart attack seven years ago at a young age. They were a dynamic duo both professionally and in life. A couple that inspire many by their adoring commitment to one another.
His health has declined over the years and now he is blind. Her loving attention to him touched me deeply. We never know what challenges we will meet around the next corner and we never know the true depths of where joy comes from. But we need to embrace a trust of our courage. When life throws us a curveball that breaks open the world as we know it, we must trust that it will also awaken the courage we need to meet it.
It takes courage to make good choices every day in life. The choice to nourish our bodies with sustenance and not just appease our taste buds. The choice to be active in a way that supports our strength and balance. The choice to remove toxins from our environments, including toxic relationships. The choice to be mindfully present with care and kindness including, if not especially, towards ourselves. The choice to not be reduced by judgment yet know our boundaries. All these daily acts take courage. It takes courage to keep our hearts open, our minds agile and be willing to challenge our fears.
Witnessing other people’s courage through how they handle their situations can be tremendously inspiring to fuel our own tanks. Maybe it instills a desire to send support and maybe it teaches us how we can better support something in our own lives that requires our courage.
If you want to be humbled by life, make a list of family members, friends and acquaintances or colleagues. Then sit and reflect on each's journey. Whether you imagine a current situation they are faced with or the road they took to get where they are, I will wager that you will be left with awe for the tenacity of the human race and the courage we muster. There is no question that some people have been dealt a much more difficult hand in life than others. Of them, many turn into inspiring pillars of strength with depths of joy that even they didn’t know was in them. Let that be a teacher to us all.
It takes courage to put life into life. After spending a little time with a looking glass into other people’s challenges this week then back into the mirror, I was left with a tremendous injection of fierce compassion and gratitude. The more grateful I became, the stronger I'd feel.
So I remain committed to being everyday grateful and believe it will never let us down.
To you from the garden of life with love, a lotus and a smile,