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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All images courtesy D.KatiePowellArt!