This week’s word is…COURAGE


There are words that are essential to the Mothering Conversation. Words that represent qualities and behaviors for us to try on if we are to
evolve the conversation of mothering. Each week on our blog, we feature one of these Words.

This week’s word is COURAGE.

This week’s word is a call to bring more Courage into the way we are relating. With others, with circumstances, and most of all, with ourselves. What does that mean? Below are four thoughts:

  1. Courage is not about BIG, BOLD action. The times I’ve behaved most courageously in my life have involved being still, closing my mouth and opening my heart. Offering Empathy. Listening Fully. Being present for someone who is hurting, angry, confused, can feel uncomfortable. It takes courage to stay in the discomfort and connect deeply with another. You can read some thoughts on how exactly to do this, here.
    1. Courage means following your heart. The word courage comes from the Old French corage and the Latin cor, both meaning heart, innermost feelings.
      If I listen to my mind-chatter going round-and-round long enough, I can talk myself into or out of just about anything. When I choose courage, I get still & quiet in my mind so I can tune into my heart. I think of it as tuning into God’s voice within me rather than the noise of the world going on in my head (what if, you should, you shouldn’t, but then they’ll think…)
  1. To be courageous is to be vulnerable. Courage is born out of our vulnerability. I know that for me to open myself up and reveal my vulnerabilities, requires strength and courage. The relationship between vulnerability and courage is fascinating (in my opinion, but then again, I get excited over psychology text books and going to therapy workshops, so bear with me).
    Putting on “a brave face” or “staying strong” in the midst of my hurts doesn’t actually require much courage. Invulnerability is easy and comfortable. However, for me to call a close friend or my sister and say, “I’m not doing so good today and I really need to talk” or asking “Will you help me?” takes courage.
    Our culture would have us believe that vulnerability is weakness. I completely disagree. Revealing our humanness to others, admitting when we don’t know, can’t do it, need help, and are feeling unsure or scared requires strength! I wrote about “sharing the truth of our perfectly normal imperfect lives” here.
  1. Courage is unnecessary unless we are afraid.

courage and fear

To be human is to have fears. So long as we are alive, we can expect to feel fearful, at different times and to varying degrees. As the quote above says, to live without feeling fear is “foolish.” We are fooling ourselves. Denial. To live in collusion with our fear is cowardice. A trick of the enemy to keep us quiet and small.

To acknowledge my fear – to see clearly my resistance, control, avoidance, or force – and move ahead anyway, is courage.

  • I fear being rejected, and I reach out to him anyway.
  • I fear upsetting or bothering her, and I ask for what I need anyway.
  • I fear being judged, and I take a stand for what I believe is right anyway.
  • I fear my child being hurt, and I let go of control and release her anyway.


A Closing Prayer

As I was writing this post, the scene in the garden of Gethsemane came to mind. The scene where the soldiers came to take Jesus away. Peter was ready to fight, drawing his sword, and taking a bold action, which may have looked courageous (Matthew 26:51). As I thought about that, I became aware that every time in my life when I’ve chosen “fight” or “force” over peace and acceptance, I was driven by my fear, not my courage. Jesus chose peace and acceptance while enduring ridicule, torture, and even death. I pray that I will look to Jesus as the source of my courage:

Heavenly Father, I pray for greater courage; heavenly courage. I pray for the courage to endure my trials with my eyes always on You. Give me the courage to sit with others who are hurting and the grace to stay quiet and simply listen. I pray that I may follow the way of Jesus in opening my heart to those who would mistreat, misunderstand, or misjudge me. Show me how to stay open and courageously vulnerable so I may not miss any of the highs or the lows that You would have me experience in this lifetime. Please help me to get quiet everyday and listen for Your voice. Thank You for Your constant love and guidance. AMEN.

Wishing you a blessed week!
With love,
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