August 10

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 10: “To be heroic is to be courageous enough to die for something; to be inspirational is to be crazy enough to live a little.” ― Criss Jami

This made me laugh today. I love to laugh. I do it a lot. These writings often come from laughter. I get to see how a quote hits me, and I often have to laugh at what comes.

The reason I laughed today is that we still want to believe that laying down our life for a cause or against a cause is the source of courage. I SO HEARTILY disagree.

I believe that daring to live the lives we are here to live, fully and completely, with full attention and intention, is the only courageous thing. Too often, we are programmed or channeled by our own or someone else’s fear, into lives that leave us gasping for air. They are constricted and totally unsuited for us.

It reminds me of women I met when I was a little girl, whose feet were deformed by wearing shoes that looked pretty but harmed their feet, much like the abusive practice of binding women’s feet in China in the past. We become deformed emotionally, spiritually, and physically by living a life that is not ours. We become these things to please others or to somehow keep something or someone in our lives. Our culture does this ALL the time.

I recently read a story that spoke of a Buddhist priest who did not understand why Western people hated their parents when other cultures did not have this. It was explained to him, by a psychiatrist who was Western but had deep roots in his Buddhist practice. He understood the dynamic, which is this: in other cultures, children are given what they need by their parents; respect and discipline. They are not pushed to do or be something their parents see as fitting for them.

The parents understand that they have a journey and a path that is specific for them. It will unfold, over time, if they are nurtured and accepted for who and what they are. In Western culture, parents spend all of their energy demanding, imprinting and pushing their children to be who THEY see them as, not for who they are. Parents are hated for not having the capacity to accept and love their children AS THEY ARE, not for what they can be made into. WOW!!

And we continue this with everyone we meet, because we are always working to impose our will on the world around us. Yikes!

We must be courageous like this, to be happy: We must accept and live the lives WE are here to live and respect that everyone else has made choices and will continue to walk their own path. We don’t need to be crazy to live a little, just fearless.

There are quite a few people who do not like all the choices I have made or make. I am okay with that, because I live with the outcomes of those choices. And without those people. That, for me, is the true statement of my courage.

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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