Where do we go to find courage? I know for a fact, that we can’t look outside of ourselves – we have to find courage within. And how do we embrace the fledgling courage we find there when fear is working very hard to slam the door on it?
In my previous posts, I wrote about awareness leading to an awakening and the discovery that change is possible. In combination with these early stages of change, a growing realization and acceptance of our spiritual nature is the key that unlocks the door that has kept our courage hidden. Spirituality cannot exist in a vacuum and is not true and authentic if corrupted by a narcissistic ego. The spirituality, of which I speak, occurs in a state of humility with a supportive and understanding community.
Before I chose sobriety, I experienced an actual visceral feeling of internal emptiness – a void that I couldn’t explain. As I surrounded myself with those who understood me and supported me, that void literally began to fill up. It was as if my spiritual pilot light was finally beginning to burn properly. I was beginning to feel myself glowing from within.
With this support, courage can grow, and the balance begins to tip in the stand-off between fear and action. The determined realization that change must occur, no matter what, starts to grow, overshadowing the fear that has always won out before. Fear of the unknown is powerful and without the conviction that spirituality brings, it’s easy to talk yourself out of moving forward with changes. It’s easy to convince yourself that things aren’t so bad, and the voices of our personal gremlins start getting louder and louder, trying to drown out the nascent and weaker voice of courage.
During this stage of change, I remember frequently wanting to return to what I knew – the familiar – even though it was toxic and soul crushing. My newly recognized spirituality and belief in myself helped move me through these feelings and my weak courage “muscles” were exercised. And so, the courage grew and was strengthened and allowed me to see the next stage – action – as a true possibility.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
― E.E. Cummings