Brené Brown talks about courage in the following way: “Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences — good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage.”
When I started writing my book, it was all about trying to be vulnerable and open up to myself first and foremost. Without some kind of courage on that personal journey I was never going to navigate my way anywhere near to authenticity. I needed some sort of reckoning in my life and after I finished writing, someone close to me suggested that I should get it published. That others could benefit from my story and understand that whatever emotional struggle they were involved in they could understand that they were not alone. Many people struggle in silence alongside each other unknowingly.
So taking that into account I took the plunge to publish. And this scared the living crap out of me. It’s one thing to be vulnerable in your own world but something else to open that up to the whole world. Talk about gate crashing emotional barriers! But I did and I swallowed my fears and stepped around my gremlins.
Then I decided to take it a step further and start this blog. Share the ongoing experience and some of the stuff I have learned and still learning about mental health awareness and living an emotionally healthy life. Here comes that courage thing again.
“Speak one’s mind by telling ALL one’s heart”
It still scares the crap out of me but I’m going to do this. Along the way I am really learning about who I am and there’s still a long road ahead. What I have also realised is that we don’t travel this road alone. We have to put one step in front of the other…no one can do that for us. But there are many out there who walk similar paths and share similar stories not unlike mine.
Maybe we can help each other. Even strangers in the dark can shed light on a journey which can help lighten another’s day. So why not share and why not have the courage to speak what is on our minds with our hearts. Authenticity is great bedfellows for trust and belonging.