August 29

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 29: “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” ― Aristotle

Without Courage we cannot have Integrity, Honor, Truth, or any of the other spiritual principles. The reason I love courage so much is its original meaning as “heart”, from the French word Coeur.

If I want to have Integrity, I must have the courage to be upright and honor my word. That is the same as telling the truth. What I tell you must be truth, or I am not honest or integral with my word.

If I want to Love, all of these must be present. I have pretended to love, when I did not truly understand the meaning of the word. Those early days of recovery, when I “loved” people, it was all about the codependent shit that has been the biggest part of my recovery. I needed them, I lusted after them, I wanted them to stick around, I did things for them (but only with the intention of keeping them on my hook), always an agenda. That is not love. So, I was not courageous enough to love people without my needs being met. Always conditions present there, on both sides, usually.

I cannot truly have Hope without Courage, because it is useless to hold out hope without the courage to do something with it. There is always action indicated in Hope. And Courage is where the action happens.

I cannot have Acceptance or Faith or Patience or Humility or Freedom or Discipline or Gratitude either, without Courage. They all indicate a place of working toward something that is deeply spiritual and not of the Ego. The ego is the chickenshit way of hiding my head under the covers and waiting for someone else to make my life right. It is waiting for the winning lottery ticket or a series of good breaks to change my life.

Courage means I will receive and practice all the other attributes when I begin to believe it is MY job to shift this conversation. It is MY job, because I am the one Graced with the ability to draw one sober breath and then another. Then I am Graced with this process of applying spiritual principles and given the guidelines to achieve even greater success in that relationship where I begin to understand a spiritual path.

I love this stuff. But I do believe that Courage is the way to it and through it all…isn’t that nice?

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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