Many small acts of everyday life often require the courage to step out of the familiar, to cross over the edge of your uncertainty and to risk loss, defeat, or humiliation. These small acts occur when you open a difficult conversation, or stand in front of a group to talk, or confess a failing, or ask a love interest out; or step over the border into the wild world we have fenced off. Every act of courage, no matter how small, is a great act because each one has the potential to shift the weight of your life.
There is also a special kind of courage: the courage to give an act your all, when you act as as if what you do is the most precious and important thing, something to be forever protected while knowing it will only go to the great silence and all the hearts that shall receive it shall one day stop beating. This kind of courage is rarely recorded. It cannot captured in an fMRI and cannot be found in history books. It is the opening of your heart to the great ocean of life even though your heart will be flooded and what you once were will be drowned in the tide.
The reward is access to life, in all its strangeness and grandeur. Scientist have found life dancing in delight at deep sea pressure on the edge of fissures where the molten core of the earth pours out. It does not cry for help or plea to the gods for relief from its place in the nature of things. It takes the nourishment it is given and flourishes as best it can. The gift of the courageous act is to be flooded with life as you are swept to your own shore.
The origin of the word courage is "heart, or innermost feeling." To act courageously is to act with heart. What is the most recent act that you have you done wholeheartedly?
© Nick LeForce
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