When the word courage is looked up in the dictionary its definition is: “have the courage of one’s convictions, to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.” So, I would think that it is safe to say that it takes courage to be our true self. It also takes courage to show people who our true self is, because we often feel very vulnerable allowing others to see who we really are. It is the courage to “Be”!
What does it mean to be our true self? Since being ourselves is a learning process, we are constantly becoming who we are. We are constantly learning what we like, what we don’t like, what resonates with us and what we reject. Some of what being our true self means is how we naturally come across to other people, there are some things about us that we can’t hide. Our mannerisms, the sound of our voice, our cultural upbringing, the way we look, these are all things that are just a part of who we are. So, what is courage? Courage is, not only taking the necessary steps to figure out who we really are, but also allowing ourselves to be vulnerable enough for others to see who we really are. This is a process, that can be a twisting, winding road that leads us to the courage to “Be”.
There can come a point in our lives when we have kind of a “light bulb” moment when we say to ourselves, “oh, this is who I am”. But, in the process leading up to that moment, we have been in the dark, being more concerned with pleasing other people and trying to live up to their expectations. We have been more focused on what is going on outside of ourselves like children, husband, friends and our career. But, then, a moment comes when we realize we have not been focusing on our true self, who we are. We all of sudden feel the need to stop, relax, breathe and connect with our inner selves. We find the courage to say to ourselves “If I don’t do this, then I will never figure out who I am”, and then the journey begins that leads us to the courage to “Be”.
Even without our realizing it we are constantly changing. But when we become aware and want to discover our true self, then we can become more and more familiar with who we are, which brings on even more profound change. When we finally awaken, then we begin to come to an understanding that every challenge that we go through, all the uncomfortable situations that we find ourselves in, are all a part of uncovering who we are and allow us to discover what we stand for. We are now in control of the process of sculpting our new self. With courage and vulnerability we move forward in the process of loving ourselves and discovering the courage to “Be”.
The beginning of this process of loving ourselves is to love ourselves right where we are. We have to become aware of certain gifts we have, our unique talents and personalities, there is only one of us. Part of this process is learning how to be comfortable in our own skin. There are things about us that make us unique and some people, or we ourselves, may think of these things as negative traits. But, once we have the courage and the vulnerability to connect to our true self, then those negative things can be turned into possitive attributes. The things that used to be “no’s” can be turned into “yes’s”. Learning how to turn our negative traits into possitive ones is what having the courage to “Be” is all about.
The lessons that come with learning how to be our true self can sometimes be painful. Each persons pain is unique to them. But, whatever the painful situation may be, it takes courage to get through the pain that makes us who we are and allows us the gift of knowing ourselves and what we are made of. You may look at someone else’s pain and say, “I could never go through that”, but the truth is God will never give us anything that we can’t handle. The lessons we learn when going through our difficulties are priceless. We become vulnerable and humbled by them, becoming more compassionate for others and not so quick to judge other people, because we learn that everyone has their own trials and tribulations that their going through. As human beings we also have the tendancy to think other people have it so much better than us, so then we put up a facade and pretend that we’re not going through anything, but the truth is we are all human being and we all are going through something. We are all searching for the courage to “Be”.
We must understand that there is a fine line between accepting, who and where we are now, and the room for growth and evolution in our lives. We have to realize the need for reinventing ourselves and becoming a better person. If we stay stuck where we are, then there is no motivation to move forward and become that better person. Our motivation comes from the courage to be OK with who we are at any given moment and understanding that we cannot change some of our core traits about ourselves. But, also realizing each day brings along with it joy and pain, trials and triumphs, good and bad. Its how we deal with these things and what we learn from them that changes who we are and allows us the courage to “Be”.
All of us need to find something in our lives that give us a sense of passion. Something that we love to do, that wakes us up every morning and get us moving. We all should have the feeling that we are needed and that what we are doing is not only changing us, but also the world. Making sure to surround ourselves with people who insist that we be our true self, people who will challenge us to become a better person. It is important to knowing where we come from and what makes us who we are. It is important to know who the people in our life are that have given us the tools we need to become our true self and keep us moving forward and give us the courage to “Be”.
Remember to stay in the present moment to be aware of the choices we make that bring about change, giving ourselves permission to make mistakes as long as we learn from them. Don’t look at what somebody else has, or want to be someone else, because that is not who we are. By trying to be someone else, the world misses out on our unique presence, our true self and what we bring to the lives of others and the world, which is the courage to “Be”.
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