find your courage

Today we ask that you develop courage.  

Courage is a quality associated with heroes.  However, most “ordinary people” do not think of themselves as heroes.  Courage is often perceived as something foolish or foolhardy.  The main thing in life is to be safe and secure.  There’s no place for heroism and courage in that paradigm.

When you believe the main thing in life is to be safe and secure, that is what you spend your whole life trying to achieve.  You try to get good grades, a good education, a good job, and the proper mate.  All to increase your feeling of safety.  You don’t make courageous choices.  You make safe ones.

Of course, this is a direct road to lifelong misery.  It is how people wind up in loveless marriages, and careers they can’t stand.  It is why so many people’s lives feel empty, and devoid of meaning.

You cannot live life fully if you are dominated by fear, and always choose to “play it safe.”  The acquisition of money and possessions will never bring anything more than a temporary feeling of safety and satisfaction.

To live life fully, you must be courageous.  You must make choices that defy your animal need for safety and comfort, in favor of healthy challenges that may draw you well outside your comfort zone, but give you a sense of meaning and purpose.  You must follow your hearts.  You must marry for love, not money, or because you’re scared you’ll never find anyone else who wants to be with you.  You must work because you believe in what you do; not because it was the first job that came along and how else can you pay the rent.  You must bear children out of a deep desire to create a beautiful space in which a human being to grow and learn; not because it’s what you’re supposed to do, because a baby will make you feel more loved, or because it will increase your security in old age.  

You must live heroically, even if it is on a small scale.  Anyone can be a hero.  The schoolteacher, the clerk, the janitor.  It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you do, or what your history is.  It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, educated or uneducated.

Anyone can be a hero.

Though your lower self will always scream that heroism is madness, that faith will never be rewarded, that “no good deed goes unpunished,” that good guys always finish last, and that courageous action will only leave you poor, and lonely… this is not true!  These are all lies.

Though courageous action may create discomfort and upheaval in your existence temporarily, in the long term it will always lead to greater peace, joy, and fulfillment.

Fear-driven, security-seeking action will often seem like it is creating comfort and stability, and easing your anxiety.  In the short term, this may appear to be the case.  But in the long term, it will leave you feeling anxious, depressed, and empty.  The chronic fear will not go away.  It will only reemerge.  And no matter how much stuff you acquire, no matter how many pills you take, you will not assuage the fear.

This pattern is as predictable as the the waxing and waning of the moon, the passing of the seasons, the daily arc of the sun.  It is like a law of nature.  It always happens.

That is why courage and heroism is the height of true wisdom.  

It is better to die a hero than live a slave.  For death does not really happen.  No one ever truly dies.  

It is good to die to yourself in every moment.  To risk everything, in every moment.  To walk through life with a courageous heart.  It doesn’t mean you don’t feel fear.  It just means you are not dominated by it.  

Please know this truth:

Security-seeking, fear-driven action will always lead to misery, in the end.

Courageous action that comes from the heart will always lead to joy, in the end.

You are all here to learn this lesson.

Do not fall for appearances.  You may live in a mansion and drive a nice car, but if you are fear-driven, you will derive only temporary pleasure from these things.  The fear and misery will never leave you, until you find your courage.