Acquiring courage by shedding cowardice

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Definitions pretty much consider courage and cowardice flip sides of one coin.  I’ve spent my life as the observer and it is through this practice that I have often thought I saw that cowardice is an inability to acquire courage.  Could it be, rather, that cowardice is an inability to shed cowardice itself?  Once shed, then there is only courage left.

And then, is cowardice an inability to shed cowardice or is the problem that we were born into cowardice by virtue of our socially inherited behavior and we must become the generation that transforms that cowardice into courage?

It seems fear must come first before one makes a conscious choice to act with courage . . . or to remain frozen in fear.

Fear is a state of inaction.
Courage requires action.

When griped by fear, one does not want to make a decision because that will require action.  Fear says, I’m gonna die.  Fear says, I don’t want to die.  Fear cries out, what am I going to do?  Maybe if I don’t do anything, it will all just go away.

But it doesn’t.  It’s still there and it always will be there.  Because once you allow yourself to remain in an inactive state of fear, you must live in fear . . . forever.

I’d rather die with courage
than live in fear.

Not many of us are able to say that and mean it.  I believe it is easier said by those who have crossed that line at least once.  Jumping into a swimming pool for the first time is the hardest, but it gets easier after that.

It’s certainly easier to come over to the courageous side when one has had the privilege of flat lining . . . and coming back, that is.  Those who flat lined know we are immortal spirit beings occupying a body.  We don’t just believe in it anymore or maybe refuse to believe in it.  Once you’ve made that trip down the tunnel toward that beautiful bright white light, but got called back, damn it, Janet, you no longer have to believe about your spirituality anymore because you’ve already met your Maker, even if it was a short drive by, kind of a wave out the window as you do a U‑turn and head back to the cockpit of physical life called your body.

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It’s not the size that counts.
It’s what you do with it.

Have you ever heard that before?  Awe, come on.  At least once in the locker room.  No?

Well, it’s not how much courage you have, really.  It often only takes a teeny, tiny bit and you can pack quite a punch.  A teeny, tiny bit of courage can go a very long way.  You’d be surprised just how tiny some of the acts of courage are that collectively have already changed the world.  In fact, that’s what’s happening right now politically, in concert, all over the world.  Humanity is getting tired of constant bullshit and oppression being foisted upon us by a handful of megalomaniacs and we are about to break out of the chains that we had bought from these sociopathic demons posing as human beings; all figments of our collective imagination that we allow to possess us.  They exist only because we allow it.  They have no power without our submission to their abuse.  They rely on our fear to control us.

Evil is powerless
if the good are unafraid.
–Ronald Regan

So it all comes down to action, folks.  If you want to stop living in fear, then you’ve got to take some sort of action in your life to be able to stop living in fear.  First time I did that was when I ran away from home when I was 16.  Now I’m not recommending everyone do that because it takes a certain kind of motivation for a kid that young to blow Podunk, Massachusetts and start her own life in the Big Apple as an emancipated minor.  I’m not talking about going to court and getting a document.  I’m talking about having the sense to get a job as a waitress, even if I did have to fib about my age, thank God for big boobs, and I learned how to take care of myself and I kept my nose clean with the law.

Now that takes courage.  But where did I get that courage at 16-years old?  It came from fear first.  It was the fear of having to spend the rest of my life being treated the terrible way I was being treated.  You’ve gotta be treated pretty rotten to have that kind of motivation.  But I moved up the emotional tone scale just a little and I came to anger.  I was angry that I was abused so severely and I swore to God no one would ever do that to me again.  Well, it didn’t work out that way for quite some time, but nevertheless, the action that I took that day was my first taste of courage.  And so I pulled the screen from my bedroom window, lowered myself into my father’s impeccable flower garden, and ran off into a brave new world.

That first act of courage is always the hardest.  But it becomes the foundation, the cornerstone of your life as you build new acts of courage upon it.  That’s how heroes are made; great men like Mahatma Gandhi, Donald J. Trump, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  I have my heroes and you have yours, so don’t bitch about the ones I’ve picked.

It’s never easy.  There will always be fear.  But you can overcome fear.  Life is all about choice.

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