Today I did something difficult. It was difficult, but I knew I had to do it if I wanted to heal, grow, and live in freedom.
In the midst of doing what needed to be done, I was surprised that I actually felt calm and at peace. But as soon as I finished what I needed to do, I found myself nervous and anxious. I started second-guessing myself and I wondered if I should regret what I did.
Forty long minutes, 30 troubled thoughts, and 20 deep breaths later, here’s what I realized:
Whenever I do something different or new, I find courage by my side. But for me, courage is like an acquaintance. I don’t know how to deal with courage because I’m not very familiar with it. How do I keep courage around? What do we talk about? How do we move forward?
Fear, on the other hand, is like an old friend. I know fear so well. Fear has been with me for so long, I can hear its voice in my sleep. I know fear better than I know myself. I hear the voice of fear all the time and I always know what it would say in every situation. This is why fear so often rules my life.
But fear has been a terrible friend. It’s done nothing but keep me worried, anxious, and stressed. It has caused me to be silent when I needed to speak up and it has caused me to hide when I needed to step out of the shadows. Fear has kept me stuck. It has deprived me of possibilities and stolen my joy, over and over again.
I need courage. It may not be familiar, but that can change. Just like any friendship, we need to hang out more if I want to get to know courage better. And as much as I want courage to take the lead, sometimes I have to take the first move. It means I have to step out of my comfort zone and take a risk. Sometimes it means I have to be vulnerable as I wait for courage to come around.
Why does courage have to be so difficult? I guess it’s because courage is special. Just a dose of courage can change what seems unchangeable and make everything possible.
Today, I choose courage, and I’ll probably have to choose it over and over again. It could be awkward and things could get ugly…but I have a feeling it’s worth it.