August 1

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 1: “Everyone thinks that courage is about facing death without flinching. But almost anyone can do that. Almost anyone can hold their breath and not scream for as long as it takes to die.

True courage is about facing life without flinching. I don’t mean the times when the right path is hard, but glorious at the end. I’m talking about enduring the boredom, the messiness, and the inconvenience of doing what is right.” ― Robin Hobb

I love August 1st…this year is no exception. It is my birthday month, and Leo is the lion of courage that I love to symbolize the month for me. And, believe it or not, I truly LOVE Step 8. Weird, isn’t it? It was the one I remember reading when I was new and being especially horrified to contemplate. What??? Oh hell NO!

And now it makes me happier than any step, except when I really love Step 4 and Step 9. They are such freeing steps.

But getting ready to make amends. Isn’t that the weirdest thing of all? Yes! And I love it. I especially love this quote, because it reminds me to rethink what COURAGE is all about. It ain’t being brave in those moments when all you have to do is suck it up.

I have proven, so many times, to myself and others that I know how to suck it up. I have taken beatings that I knew were coming, walked into situations where I knew I was going to be physically harmed or emotionally broken; and withstood things that seemed very courageous at the time.

But the REAL test of courage for me is to DARE to get out of bed on those mornings when I knew there was not one single reason for doing it and everything in my head screamed to just not move!

And REAL courage, for me, begins with the statement: “I was wrong and did something to you or against you that I need to clean up.” FUCK! That is insane! And putting that person’s name on my list and becoming willing to go THERE??? OMG!!

But I have done this, a lot. I have made some gigantic messes in my life, because I have never been a half-measures kind of person. And I have cleaned up everything I have known I needed to clean up. It is not my greatest sense of joy in contemplating this step; BUT it IS the greatest source of courage and really getting clean (ON THE INSIDE) when I complete it.

Step 8 is the Courage step, for me, because I have to get willing and I have to make the damned list. It is not in the doing, but in the preparation to do that I need courage. I have to fight that crazy Ego and let myself become small and vulnerable, even if it means I have to eat some shit because I was an asshole. Ugh! That is the worse-case for me. And I have not yet had to eat anything even remotely close to shit. So, we keep trudging here my friends…

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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