What is courage?

14 August 2017 - inspiration

“Courage is moving forward even when you feel afraid.” – Joyce Meyer

You’ve come a long way. If you take the time to look back at all the times you’ve gotten through the curveballs life has thrown at you, you’ll realise one thing. You have more courage in you than you think.

What is courage? To some, it’s scaling a mountain. To others, perhaps it’s scaling a mountain no one knows about—getting out of bed each day, or speaking to a stranger. No one should tell you what your courage looks like, but here’s what we’ve realised: Courage is found in the little things. Small things build up to bigger ones, and they give us the strength and confidence to keep going.

One of our favourite poems, Courage by Anne Sexton, describes courage as such: “Your courage was a small coal / that you kept swallowing.” We share the poem in its entirety below. We all sometimes need a reminder to celebrate how far we’ve come. You’re doing great, and you’re going to be fine.

Courage by Anne Sexton

It is in the small things we see it.
The child's first step,
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike,
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien,
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
cover your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off your heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways,
each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen,
those you love will live in a fever of love,
and you'll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you'll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out.

What's courage to you? Let us know at hello@mindful-company.com.

- The Mindful Company Team