“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
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The search for courage has been an ongoing quest that is often halted by the obstacles led by fear. As I move forward, allowing the growth to embrace me through all the difficult seasons, I consider the options of an unfulfilled life and realize it is time to accept the offerings of imperfection by breaking through my self-imposed limitations.
Various crossroads had altered my journey compiling this list of imminent apprehension. Imploring a joyous outcome only to be betrayed by tragedy instilled uncertainty and defeated the bravery I was in search of. The unbearable loss of my child left me in a bitter fury of anguish, exhausting any bravery I may have considered while I struggled to breath. Discovering the courage vital to ignite any search began when I unraveled the veil of doubt that obscured my view. A gentle tug of uneasy stimulated a desire for more and allowed me to awaken the bravery hidden within by stepping into the trepidation that had trapped me for so long.
Battered by the grief that had consumed my life, I knew in order to move forward I must continue seeking the spirit necessary to expand. Recognizing that all the walls we build to camouflage pain adversely deplete our soul, leaving our heart vacant. Courage breaths throughout the many spaces in our lives, the question is, do we hide from the unknown or seek its growth? Whether we discover bravery through the unwanted turmoil to be untangled or the misfortunes detouring our spirit, we must pursue their defeat in order to vanquish fears grasp.
My first dance with courage returned when I began daring myself to lean into what I feared most and embrace the power it influenced. Exploring this quest required a heart filled with the audacity to be exposed and the determination to get back up repeatedly after each fall.
To promote change, the scale of bravery can waver from a simple expedition for something new to the teeth chattering angst of greater things. Each breakthrough arrives once we step towards that which causes trepidation by leaping into the unfamiliar. Resolved to unravel this discord I began a pilgrimage for change. Presented with the opportunity to run twelve half marathons in 2012, I leaned into the nervousness and followed my heart despite the lingering fear.
The confusion that had distorted my life also delivered a tenacity to live my story, manifesting hope from the broken pieces in this exploration of narrative from Ohio to California and all the places in between, an excavation had begun on this pathway to decipher where I wanted to be. Each excursion filled me with pride, recalling the strength I built throughout the course of a year by challenging the doubts that had previously held me hostage. With every footfall I generated the power to forage on and begin something new, transporting me towards the bravery I had longed to reach with the fortitude of an authentic life.
Ultimately the combination of external growth and the voyage inward enabled me to untangle my spirit. Salvaging the gifts I had lost within this heartbreak I was finally able to reveal the light that still remained in a tender place of my soul. And although today I may stumble through the obstacle life delivers, I have discovered the small victories crowding me with memories and a purpose, carry the bravery I need to advance one more step forward, and collected amongst those memories are the medals that say I did it.