August 8

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 8: “Courage is the complement of fear. A man who is fearless cannot be courageous. [He is also a fool.]” ― Robert A. Heinlein

We all have fear. It is the tool for allowing a sense of self-preservation that every one of us must possess in order to survive.

And a healthy sense of danger is a good thing. It keeps us from doing things that would risk our lives. But addiction and the overwhelming power of the Ego’s part in keeping us in constant agitation and fear is just as dangerous.

Because we believe we have to become free of all fear, we may take even greater risks or develop a f— it attitude that does not serve either. Then we take stupid risks with no purpose or payoff. That is why Mr. Heinlein labels that person a fool.

Courage is not the absence of fear. As one saying around the rooms of recovery states; “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” We are all called to do courageous things, from the moment we get here. I remember looking around the room one morning and thinking…”Shit…I don’t know how to work sober, or drive a car, or clean my house, or go to the grocery store, or take a shower, or do anything without drugs and alcohol.” I mean, anything. And now, I do all of it, but there was a first time without substances for all of those things and a million more.

I did not know if I could go to a meeting by myself, when I got out of the recovery home. Thank God I had made enough friends in the rooms to feel comfortable. I have moved a zillion times since then and it always feels uncomfortable to go to a new meeting and meet new people. It is a mixed bag, scary and exciting at the same time. I love that!

We walk through small fears all the time. Getting sick, getting well, waking up and facing a personal challenge on any given day. These can be anything from surgery to dental work to meeting a new person for a date, to going through divorce or marriage, to getting pregnant and having a baby, to losing someone we love, to moving, to going to college, to doing anything new.

If we don’t walk through those fears, we will miss out on life in so many big and small ways. There are SO many people I know and some I get to work with who don’t know what to do with the changes that life brings along. They get frozen in their fear and refuse to live any longer. I am happy to say that through all the changes, I am still here, living fully every minute, taking risks that make sense to me, doing what my heart feels is right.

It may not make sense to you, but I am living the best life I ever could have dreamed of. I am happy beyond measure and grateful as hell that I get to do MY life, not your version of what that should be. It is amazing and wonderful to be ME today! Yippee!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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