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  • Writer's pictureColleen M. Doumeng

courage - do i have it?

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering, “I will try again tomorrow.” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Lately I have been reflecting upon what it means to be courageous.

Have I been courageous? Who are my examples of courage?

I got to thinking about my grandkids and then myself as a small child. I recalled moments where my grandkids at such a tender young age demonstrated so much courage. I have watched displays of enormous courage from three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten and 11 years old children listen to the news that someone or something (think pet) has just died or is very sick and watching their bodies stiffen, recoil, tears flow, questions being fired back, their minds searching for meaning in what was being said yet watching them move through it and surround their parents with love after putting a dog down, watching them kneeling in pews at funerals for loved ones having no idea what was happening yet surrendering to something ~ I recalled their parents dropping them off at daycare and watching their little hearts breaking open, crying and learning how to trust , to be courageous. trusting mom/dad will be back later; parents taking off their training wheels for the first time, so scared and some excited to let go and some kids falling yet getting right back up, taking that first step onto the kindergarten bus and one needing to be pried off her father only to walk fearlessly onto the bus the very next morning, going under water without “swimmies” attached for the first time and swimming towards me coming up with eyes wide opened - scared and excited that they made it underwater to me, sitting on pediatrician exam tables waiting enjoying the pictures on the walls and all the distractions snd then the door opens to a stranger in a white coat , feeling their fear, the kids crying and scared for their shots but doing it anyway, getting stitches so bravely with moms and dads holding their little hands so tight drawing on all the courage they could hold and channeling it to their little ones, sitting still in pain so courageously after a fall and experiencing what mommy means that you’ll be getting a cast and them being a trooper over the summer and not swimming while everyone else is ~and now how courageous they go into doctors offices getting COVID tests over and over no complaints , watching them figure out how to simply enjoy an ordinary day at home and make it meaningful even joyful, hearing another outing or milestone event is cancelled and not holding on to it for more then a few hours unlike me, getting on zoom calls for home learning for the first time despite not knowing how and stumbling a bit yet excited to just be there learning in the presence of their precious teacher and friends..such courageous moments !

these are courageous teachers and teachings right ?

How about walking back into the schoolyard at 8 smiling after you were laughed at and ridiculed in the boys bathroom? not making the soccer team ~ not getting invited to that girls party this year for Halloween and you take it in stride and yield the most candy ever!

I’m guessing these are similar to the moments we have all experienced decades ago. Perhaps they have served as the building blocks for the courage we draw upon today during our challenging moments. Still i wonder, AM i courageous?

In some mysterious way (faith and trust was being cultivated), we intuitively knew at such tender ages to dig deep, to surrender (courage?) and we drew upon something much bigger than our little self. we ‘somehow’ transcended these uncomfortable moments. We somehow trusted. We surrendered to "something" without a full understanding of what the heck just happened, and got back up ~ we kept going. And, we sensed we were never alone.

I didn’t know it then but I know now that these were (are) the moments where we remember who we really are ~ beyond our minds and bodies. Beyond our egos. And we tap into that power.

I like to think this little girl has courage...i certainly need it.

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