Recently a friend asked me to write a few words about courage. It was a very appropriate moment to meditate upon a virtue that is reserved for the heroes of the world.
Is courage only the outfit of those who take heroic acts, in front of whom the whole bows? It is not the case. Anyone could decorate their life with adornments of courage, when we renounce to cowardice and fear. It is an option that we have at every turn of the sophisticated path in our life that is full of the challenges.
What is courage? Is it the source of invincibility? Or its result? It is both. If you allow yourself to have courage you become invincible, and if you learn to become tangent with the divine invincibility, courage will blossom again and again in your heart.
Maybe you ask me what courage is. I do not want to search definitions and theories in dictionaries in order to give an answer. I seek a description in my heart that is confirmed by life and angels: courage is something that helps you not to move aside when you are confronted by your fears, to look them into their face and walk forward on the path of life smiling with joy. Courage does not mean the absence of fear. Courage is that inner strength that shows how to go around fear when it appears, how to understand it, how to avoid it and then act without being influenced by it.
We were born as human beings and for this reason we showed courage even before we were born, whether we want to believe it or not. I think you agree with me: being human is not simple at all. As Seneca put it: “Sometimes even the fact that you live is an act of courage.”
You must have courage to incarnate to a planet where people still kill for power, where they forget the principles and they break them unscrupulously in order to obtain what they want, and love is easily left behind by the personal desires and comfort. A world where falsity is promoted and sought, where almost everything has the tendency to make one drifted apart from one’s soul, spirit, and the Highest, a world where the divine values are inversed, where money is recognised as a god, though in reality it is only a false convention. Even the simple fact that we are here, on Earth, shows that we carry in our encrusted being the seal of courage.
Every single day of our life asks for courage. We live thousands and thousands of moments of courage each day. The courage to entrust the heart of others while bearing the risk of being disappointed or abandoned. The courage to forgive, to smile and go forward, even when these things already happened. The courage to remain in love and dream about the ideals that might only be fulfilled by the ones who come after you. The courage to go against the current or be different than the majority. The courage of saying no, when we are imposed to say yes. To lead a pure life in a dirty world. The courage to be good and sweet in a bitter world.
The courage is based on trust. While writing these lines I am on an airplane travelling to Germany with 200 people. All these people found the courage to fly on an object that is piloted by a stranger, to fulfil what they proposed. All of them invested trustfully in a person whom they have not even seen before. And we often do this in our daily life: we live in courage, we live in trust, even if we are not aware of it.
What makes you to get out of bed every morning, even if sometimes life carries you in the shadows and it is not what you would like? It is the courage to pass through the darkness having the hidden faith that in the end you will find the light. All of us had such shady and dark moments, so as afterwards we could enjoy even better the illuminating peace and beauty.
You must believe that there is something higher than your own powers for facing the difficulties, the bad, the opposition, the indifference or repulsion. Even if you do not know how to express what you think exactly, the source of this belief is deeply imprinted in you. Every moment when you rise from the bed and smile to life is an act of courage and faith. In any battle we can get hurt, kneeling down, sometimes even destroyed. Nevertheless, everything that truly matters is how we deal with all these. As a victim or as a hero? It is our choice. Therefore, I propose to you the following exercise: "imagine that you are already dead. What would those who knew you write on the frontispiece of your grave? Hero or coward? Act in such a way that inspires the ones who come after you. Live life with your eyes wide open, full of courage and benevolence."
I learned from life that everything that comes to me has a meaning, a lesson, a mystery that awaits to be discovered, explored, understood. I liked a reply from a movie very much that sounds like this: "Sometimes when you lose, in fact you win." I had this feeling many times that life wants to take something from me and it hurt every time. Yet, I learnt to accept the surprises of life, though they are not always attractive and enchanting. If you learn to detach from the ephemeral human connections and find the courage to say yes to the life that awaits you, then that apparent loss can become the source of an even greater and more profound gain. It is important that you do not run or remain in the self-pity of a wounded clouded sky, but you rise courageously with your head up, towards the sky that hides the rainbow. To seek the colours that are hidden in each challenge, disappointment and sorrow, which also hide a certain transformation.
Living in courage means to accept every opportunity in life with candour, to embrace it as something precious, letting it to make you better, more authentic, closer to who you truly are. Living in courage means to say what your heart whispers so you can sustain the affirmations and live according to your ideals, even if you are judged, accused or critiqued by those who do not want to understand or accept you. To love the hand of someone who made you kneel down today, because they showed you what are your limits that you will surpass tomorrow so you rise higher and higher. To face fear as a good friend that shows your weak points to be aware of, but you do not let them define your life, yet only to accompany you on the tortuous paths of the inevitable and continuous transformation.
Therefore ... let's live our life in courage!