COURAGE MONTH: DAY 6: “Many survivors insist they’re not courageous: ‘If I were courageous I would have stopped the abuse.’ ‘If I were courageous, I wouldn’t be scared’… Most of us have it mixed up. You don’t start with courage and then face fear. You become courageous because you face your fear.”― Laura Davis
Most of us have been truly afraid at one time or another. We may have been in danger that was life-threatening or life-changing. The more deeply held the fear is, the stronger we become in healing the situation(s) that brought the fear to us.
Going through anything traumatic produces courage in its aftermath. We can always draw on that situation to remind ourselves that what doesn’t kill us does, indeed, make us stronger. Courage is the by-product of true terror.
Expecting yourself to have enough courage to blithely skip through a traumatic event is ridiculous, of course. None of us is going to leave those situations without deep wounds in our psyche. How we work to heal the wounds is the work of a courageous soul. Ignoring it or denying the wounds is not. Pretending we are okay when we are scarred by a traumatic event is BS and there is no courage in the lies we tell to pretend we are not impacted.
Our courage is within us when we stand up and talk about how terribly afraid we were and what happened. Not in a public setting, necessarily, but in a healing setting where these things are truly healed. It may take years for really old traumas to become healed. They are permanently residing in our brains and changing the way we operate in daily life. There are always going to be markers of what we survive, whether we deny them or not.
Allowing our healing is the most courageous act a human being can make. Stepping into a vulnerable position to talk about our experience(s) is so incredibly brave that not everyone ever does this. Their stories go untold and unhealed. The work of healing is all part of this recovery process. If we don’t go deeply into the work, it is never going to help. We will remain at least partially unhealed.