Courage; The Mysterious Hidden Power Pellet
By: Kathy
June 9, 2010

The word ‘courage’ came up recently and it has really gotten me thinking: Courage is a HUGE component of recovery! I didn’t realize it at the time and I’m only now putting this label on it, but it is blowing my mind. If anyone had asked me if I was courageous whle I was going through my therapy, I am sure I would have said “Uh, no, not me”; but in reality, it took a virtual ton of courage to get through recovery!

Let’s keep in mind that I didn’t exactly enter recovery, voluntarily. I had issues from my childhood, primarily shame and abandonment, but I had no idea that I had them and I had no idea they were a problem. Ah, sweet denial! Once those issues had subtly invaded and dismantled life as I knew it, however, I really had no choice but to deal with them. In doing so, I had to be able to brave the storms that blew in as a result. I had no idea then the amount of courage I would need in order to do what I did. Do you hear that?! I had no idea then the amount of courage I would need in order to do what I did. Honestly, I think that is what got me through it! Let me explain further . . .

Sure, we need courage to do the hard things in life, but if we needed it all at once, none of us would have enough! What you must remember, is that we only need enough to get through this very moment! If I would have stopped and seen the big picture during my therapy work, I am pretty sure I would have run for the hills! I did not see myself as courageous at all; yet, as I see now, I was behaving with great courage! How could I be courageous when I constantly felt fear and uncertainty ?! Well, I have to tell you, it happens all the time. I think we have a misguided definition of courage, that somehow it means we see the terror and walk right through it without fear. I’m here to tell you, courage is about seeing the terror and walking right through it with fear! If there was no fear, why would it require courage in the first place?

My mind is exploding with examples of the kind of courage I am talking about: to be the first one to reach out and speak to your sister after you’ve argued bitterly; to go stay in the hotel where you and your spouse had a horrible blow out on your wedding anniversary, creating a new, better memory; to forgive someone and trust that they won’t hurt you again; to tell your parent that you have significant hurt and anger from your childhood and try to resolve it; to sit in your house alone and face the silence; to distance yourself from unhealthy people and look for new, healthier, more fulfilling relationships; to say ‘No’ when the people around you want you to say ‘Yes’; to let yourself cry the tears and feel the pain that is bubbling up inside of you; to admit that you were wrong; to do what you feel is the right thing to do, even when others tell you it is wrong; to tell someone you love them; to say, “I need help”.

So the bottom line is this: You may be scared to death to face what you need to face, but you absolutely can do it! Don’t wait until you feel courageous or until you have a mass of courage stored up. It doesn’t work like that. Courage is the mysterious hidden power pellet that comes exactly when you need it. Just keep your eye on the goal: a healthier, happier life on the other side of the scary places. You’ve got plenty of courage, you just don’t know it yet!!