C is for Courage: A to Z Challenge

C is also for coincidence, or synchronicity, as Jung called it.  The last two weeks I’ve noticed a coincidental number of items/videos/conversations about fear and courage.  I don’t ignore coincidences, in fact, I treasure them.  To me they are signs from the Universe to pay attention to THAT.

A friend sent me a short video from Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday with Dr. Brenen.  They were discussing fear and courage.  Dr. Brenen was studying fear in our culture before 9-11, and of course, it has increased exponentially since 9-11, with the news outlets, which really are not news outlets anymore but editorialized blithering, drumming fear and heroism into our soul.  Even for someone like me, who does not watch the news, but reads longer articles on subjects that interest me, I believe the subculture of fear has taken hold.

Then Dr. Brenen said something that has stayed with me and turned my writing on this blog on end.  She spoke about COURAGE.  I found the quote written on PBS:
“The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”

She said in Greek times, courage was associated with storytelling, the type of stories where the teller tells his or her truth.  That was my takeaway.  I prize writing that is honest, personal, gutsy.  I want to be that writer, always.

Further, she said that: “Over time, this definition has changed, and, today, courage is more synonymous with being heroic. Heroics are important and we certainly need heroes, but I think we’ve lost touch with the idea that speaking honestly and openly about who we are, about what we’re feeling, and about our experiences (good and bad) is the definition of courage. Heroics are often about putting our life on the line. Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. In today’s world, that’s pretty extraordinary.”

I think part of the problem in our world today is that people are hiding.  They hide their vulnerability and their truth.  I am pretty honest in my writing, but I felt Dr. Brenen throw down the gauntlet in my direction, and so, during my a-to-z challenge I am turning my writing around and writing my blog as if it were my well-written journal, about the truths that are important to me, the vulnerabilities I tend only to tell my best friend, my husband.  When I want to pull that punch, I will swing hard instead.

And that short video also has helped my illustrated book/journal, and I already have added pithy pages which were hard to write.

COURAGE is writing the full truth of important life incidents/fears/monkeymind.  I pray that if I share the hard stuff of my life, maybe one other person in the world will not feel so isolated, so alone in their craziness.

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However, I am now agreeing to the  Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International License, which you can learn more about by visiting the site, or, visit my web page for a more user-friendly summary on my terms.  My blog posts can be reposted; please link back to zenkatwrites.
All images courtesy D.KatiePowellArt!

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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10 Responses to C is for Courage: A to Z Challenge

  1. Sammy D. says:

    This is a very powerful and insightful piece – one I will print, re-read and continue to learn from. I have always thought being brave/courageous had more to do with vulnerability than heroics and this information gives me new ways to process that.

    Another blogger recently posted about sharing the hard stuff, not just for yourself, but because it gives your readers/supporters an opportunity to say “me, too” when they might have been afraid to do so. That struck a chord with me.

  2. slfinnell says:

    I would invite the world to see ‘courage’ in the eyes of a child. It happens when they first realize their parents are leaving for work for the day and walk away on their own. After 911 and all the senseless shootings parents changed forever that ‘see ya later’ to ‘give me a hug before I go’. Adults have to have just as much courage as the child now. Great post!

  3. akaimiko says:

    It’s so true that our concept of courage has become narrower and superficial. All the Marvel movies coming out lately certainly aren’t helping. I defy someone to come up with a comic about a normal person with the courage to be who they are honestly and face the consequences, good or bad. I’d read that!

    • zenkatwrites says:

      Thank you all for good words. I know I was raised on superhero comics, and loved them — of course, I htink reading about them and having them turned into possibly violent movies is a bit different. There are great movies about courage — Field of Dreams comes to mind! Best, Kate

  4. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

    Very inspiring post!

  5. atexasgirlblogs says:

    Thanks for this excellent post that makes us take time to stop and think about courage and what is or is not important.

  6. susanissima says:

    “…in Greek times, courage was associated with storytelling, the type of stories where the teller tells his or her truth. That was my takeaway. I prize writing that is honest, personal, gutsy. I want to be that writer, always.”

    This is a powerful post, ZK, especially your fidelity to the connection between courage and storytelling. I do see many bloggers sharing their stories with transparent honesty, maybe counter-balancing the fear culture to some extent, or maybe as a result of it.

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