Serenity Series Part III

Serenity Series Part III: Courage

Part III of the Serenity Series focuses on courage. The COURAGE to change the things I can. There will be things that we can change, but we must have the courage to change them. 

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela

Most people don’t realize how each day you chose to live in a state of calm, peace, and acceptance of all the trouble you face in your life you are acting out what it means to be courageous. Courage is, “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain without fear.”

Each day we are given the courage to continue. I never realized how difficult living was, and how each morning you have to wake up with a new determination to live your best life. The interesting thing is that courage does not always appear in the way that people think. Most people think of courageous people as firefighters, military personnel, police officers, and they are extremely courageous people that risk their lives every day, but did you know that you are courageous too?courage1

I never considered myself to be courageous, after all, I work at a recreation center, with children, and seniors. I plan summer camps, field trips, and sports events. Nothing about what I do for work seems courageous, but I have found that courage for me does not just come from my work. Courage comes from how I deal with my life. In the last three years, the emotional and spiritual state of my life has been difficult and has caused me pain. However, what has helped me is that I have an understanding that I still have my life, I still have a chance to be something great each day that I wake up, and there are so many people who are unable to do that.

While my mother was sick I found that the one thing I wanted to give her so desperately was years. Each time someone I know celebrates a birthday with their parents I think, man I wish I could have had those years with her. This year she would be sixty-one years old, and still living her best life. She never let anything hold her back, she has always maintained her strength and her dignity even though she lost her life. She never let Breast Cancer be her identity, even though doctors tried to attach it to her so badly, she simply said this to me. “I can overcome this, but this body.” This is what I believe courage to be, like many things it is a choice.

My mother and many others facing an illness or difficult time cannot change what is happening to them. Even in my situation dealing with the loss of my mother; I cannot change the fact that she is gone, I cannot change that she fell ill. The only thing I can change is my reaction to her death, I can choose to live with the lessons and the memories we created with the years we had, or I can live as if I had died right along with her. What keeps me going is knowing that my mother would want me to continue living, and live life abundantly.

Choices are the things that make up our lives. My sister references this verse almost daily and it is true of life:

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. ~Deuteronomy 30:20

There will always be two things presented before us, life and death, those are the two constants in our lives, each day we choose to live our lives abundantly, or we choose death by not living. Choosing to live daily takes courage because nowhere has it ever been promised that things will be easy; troubles and trials will come but we must seek the courage inside of us to continue even when difficult and hard times come.

 

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