August 8

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 8: “Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences — good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage.” ― Brené Brown

I love this! I read this book some time ago, and was blown away by this version of the word Courage and its early usage/meaning. Isn’t that the truth?

I have told my story for many years, some of the more grisly parts. To be honest, I have done it a few times just for the shock value of telling others who I am, or to gain some kind of emotional reaction from them.

It is interesting, because we also must look at this being the “telling of all one’s heart.” THAT is very different from a story.

So, when we use this and apply it to Step 8, we are looking for the ways in which we become willing to tell our hearts, not our thoughts, not our opinions, not our beliefs; but our hearts to another human to whom we have done some damage. Oh! How do we get to THAT place?

For me, this is a process that has slowly unfolded. But I love the idea of putting my heart on the line, not my story. I can rationalize, justify and explain things to myself (and sometimes others) that makes those damages I have caused seem okay or minimal, to say the least.

In becoming willing to do this, I must become integral with what is in my heart. It is the place where my conscience lives and has its being. My truth lives there, not in my head or what I believe about my experiences. But in my heart.

It is like jumping off a cliff and becoming vulnerable enough to let go of expectations and outcomes and being open, no matter what. I want THAT kind of courage. It is the only one that counts. Have you ever been so open with someone that you were terrified what might happen next? THAT, I believe is becoming completely courageous and open in relationship with another person. For me, Step 8 and 9 require THAT. There is no other way this healing happens, at least not in the significant ways that matter most to me. I want deep and eternal healing in this world. It happens when I am courageous enough to be in my heart and come from that space. No ego, no BS, just deep and powerful truth about my part in what I did and continue to do when I am truly, deeply wrong.

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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