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How Do I Find Courage in These Crazy Times?

Courage (n.) c. 1300, corage, "heart (as the seat of emotions)," hence "spirit, temperament, state or frame of mind,"from Old French corage "heart, innermost feelings; temper" (12c., Modern French courage), from Vulgar Latin *coraticum (source of Italian coraggio, Spanish coraje), from Latin cor "heart" (from PIE root *kerd- "heart").

What is courage? Courage is defined as " The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery."

It seems to me that we need more focus and grit than ever before to deal with the rapid changes in our world. The sudden phone problems, computer breakdowns, and the tensions in the world will probably never abate.

It is interesting that courage is not attributed to the mind but to the heart which is a place that many associate with romance or mushy feelings, not the boldness that comes from a courageous heart. Yet all good comes from the heart. True success, great relationships, deep spiritual connection, and good choices come from the center of the soul. When trouble hits, we must engage courage to rise above and not succumb to anger, fear, panic, or discouragement. Courage is the strength that keeps us going through hard times and must be practiced daily. When we become too comfortable, we lose our courageous edge. We shrink. We fear.

Without courage, the times we live in can take us into terrible bouts of fight, flight, or freeze, telling our bodies to react and not respond to unexpected circumstances. We must learn to breathe (breath of life) and soldier on. I hate to use the word soldier, implying a fight but for me, things just seem to be more difficult these days. As a relatively new acknowledged Empath, it can be even more challenging to learn how to face difficulties that I feel so intensely.

Our culture has lost its foundations of excellence, justice, and freedom that bound people together. Today we are bombarded with the idea that we don't have enough and are not good enough with less access to the American Dream. These words and images blasted at us make us feel hopeless and helpless. We are told we have to purchase more and more if we are to keep up, stay alive, compete. We must use our inner knowing and courage to fend off these falsehoods. We are perfectly imperfect as we were meant to be.

We have to turn to our hearts to our inner grace that is always standing by to be our strength and our shield. How do you cultivate the courage to turn away from this mass-produced negative hypnosis and stand on what we know deep inside ourselves to be true?

We need each other. We need to reach out beyond our comfort zone to help others regain their courage to serve the cause of goodness, kindness, and compassion. We need to endure criticism when we tell the truth. I live in Oregon where daily thick smoke from fires around us fills the air by 10 o'clock in the morning and where Covid is eating up our community.

I am learning to engage my courage to trust myself, my instincts, and my belief in the goodness of life that is always present. I feel calmer and more optimistic as I learn to live from my heart. If I slow down and stay in the moment, I can see and feel the miracles that still abound. I breathe and know all is well because I am living from the courage of my heart.

Please pass this on to those who are letting the fear and bad news take away their happiness. Tell them to cultivate their deep reservoir of courage and love, knowing that they possess all they need to be released from fear's grip. Sleep will come more peacefully and no matter what they will always find ways to better their lives.

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