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It takes a lot of courage to stand up to this big old thing called life.
To face the day rooted in your truth despite the tsunamis of ruthless challenges roaring toward you, despite the shake in your knees and the wavering of your voice.
To straighten your back, square your shoulders, look life dead in the eye, open your mouth, and declare what you want—it takes great courage to do this.
For aren’t we small and life big? Do we not live and then die while life goes on, steady and ceaseless and endless in its existence? We seem to mean nothing to life, yet our lives mean everything to us.
So if you are out there caring
Standing up straight
Squaring your shoulders
Steeling your gaze
And opening your mouth
Declaring to life what you want
Know now how courageous you are.
If you are out there reaching for it despite all the indifference that life throws your way; if you are out there listening to what calls you from within; if you are out there shaking and whispering your desires to the night; if you are out there hiding because you were knocked down but dreaming of the day when you will rise; and if you are out there reaching out and living and loving again and again and again, know that you are greatly courageous.
Know that you do mean something to this thing called life—you mean everything.
Because if you look around at this big old thing called life that you’ve been facing, you’ll see your own self reflected in life’s journey too. In its tenacity, its cycles of birth and death and rebirth; in how it holds on and lets go; in how it destroys and rebuilds, wars against itself, yet always returns to harmony.
Look closely and you will see the way life coexists with all expressions of itself: how it marries strengths and weaknesses, accepts all that comes, and always finds a way to go on, to evolve. So too do these dynamics exist within you.
You mirror life in all these ways and more. It never was and never will be you versus life but rather you versus the part of you that fears the flow of the natural world—the part of you that thinks you are alone and has forgotten your place in life’s community.
The courage, then, to stand up squared and rooted and declaring to life who you are and what you want…this courage is actually the courage to let life in, not to face life down and keep life out. It is the courage to let yourself be soft and willing enough to be all you are, just as life is always embodying its whole self.
It is the courage to stand up to and take the hand of the fear that wants you to live forever armored.
It is the courage to see through the darkness and remember that there is another way.
It is the courage to let go of the past and walk on.
It is the courage to be and find stillness through the sun and the storm.
It is the courage to notice yourself, to acknowledge yourself, to see that you are—and must be—both lion and lamb, David and Goliath.
Know now how courageous you are.
It takes great courage to live an examined life and to truly understand that as within, so without. That the unforgiving monster of life is a version of you begging for forgiveness—you who once was small and forgotten but who now rises up and roars to be seen.
It takes great courage to do this.
You have this courage.
And in all the ways you use it, know that you will never be alone.