I have often found myself in awe of the many acts of courage being done. COURAGE…… just the thought of finding it can get my heart pounding! COURAGE is a word that, to me, depicted danger, fear, even a risk of death.
Until last year.
While in a conversation, a woman with a love for words brought to light the derivation of this word…courage. I had no idea learning the root of a word would cause me to fall in love. I truly have come to love the word COURAGE!
Every day we hear and see stories of people doing courageous things. Have you, at times, asked yourself if you would have the courage to do what they did? I certainly did!!
What has firefighters run into a burning building?
What motivates someone to confront a bully?
- Rosa Parks staying seated took courage.
- #METOO takes courage.
- Parents raising and protecting their children takes courage – every day!
- It can take courage to ask for help, or to say no or to say YES.
I am reminded of a woman with whom I grew up. Our lives were entwined. I really did not know her very well early on. Coming from a solid home and gifted with the teaching of good morals, respect for others, the value of hard work and discipline, she did as we was told and certainly didn’t question things.
Over the years as I got to know her better and better, I saw changes happening.
I recall a story of friends gathered around and talking about abortion. As she listened, she realized her anti-abortion belief was something she had been told…it was in that moment that she first asked herself, “Is that what I truly believe?” She started thinking and living from her own beliefs which were often quite different than what she was taught. That took courage.
It seemed very rebellious when, against the advice of her parents, she changed her college major. At a time when women became teachers, nurses, or secretaries, the change was to pursue business. Business was a man’s world. Was it rebellion or was it an act of courage?
I witnessed her taking on new challenges. She saw them as opportunities to grow and was willing to take risks for what mattered to her. Her moving to new parts of the country took courage. Asking someone to simply give her a chance to prove herself took courage.
She was inspiring to some but seen as reckless and unsettled to others. I was getting to know her quite well. Her heart was leading the way.
Her dream of a home with a husband & a few kids wasn’t happening. She was having strong feelings for someone…but this person did not fit the picture. Here was another moment when she asked herself a question…”How can it be wrong to love another human being?”. It took a lot of courage to allow herself to love another woman…courage to live in the fear of rejection…courage to come out, only to find herself stronger than she thought she could ever be.
I have to admit, over all those years, I did not see her actions as being courageous. She was simply doing her thing…no one knew what would come next. However, a year ago when I learned the derivation of this word COURAGE, I saw her life’s journey very differently. You see, the derivation of courage is this…
- C O U R : derived from the French word COUER meaning HEART…
- A G E : the outcome of
I love the fact that COURAGE is action provoked from the heart and done in spite of risks or fears.
COURAGE is Heart Energy.
Courage comes forth when something matters deeply.
So instead of associating danger & fear with the word COURAGE – I find myself inspired, empowered, and deeply moved. I appreciate and am overjoyed to know that the courageous actions came naturally from the heart… It’s like the HEART’s desires become a megaphone compared to the fearful thoughts of the mind.
Oh… That woman I spoke of, I now see that all those risks taken throughout her life were taken because she knew in her heart there was more. Her curiosity, her sense of adventure and her longings simply could not stay confined by the rules set in place, the fears instilled or the safety of the known.
Through HER self-discovery, I came to know her very well. COURAGE is what has that woman standing before you right now.
As soon as I signed up to give this, my first, Speaker Sisterhood speech, my heart was pounding, my sleep majorly fitful and my mind filled with reasons to stay quiet. So why did I do it?
I’d been given the honor of officiating a wedding for two of my best friends in front of more than 150 people. My desire to be comfortable speaking in front of many and to be able to enjoy the moments WHILE FOCUSED ON THEM gave me the courage to rise up and speak. IT MATTERED…THEY MATTERED – A LOT!!!!
I’m thrilled to say that officiating that wedding went incredibly well! All the steps getting to that point – saying “Yes” to officiating despite not knowing how I’d pull it off; joining Speaker Sisterhood despite the overwhelming amount of nervousness and fear; getting up and taking 2 minutes of people’s time despite ‘having nothing much to offer’; being willing to write and speak vulnerably and openly; asking for and getting (or I should say – allow) support… each step required me to be courageous… to be willing to be uncomfortable to get comfortable. Officiating turned out to be one of the most beautiful, powerful, life-changing experiences of my life! It had me realize that courage is not just in extraordinary people doing extraordinary things…courage is in us all.
COURAGE…comes from the Heart!
How about you? What will you find the COURAGE to do??
Cecile is a patient, non-judgemental accountant and trainer passionate about entrepreneurial spirits getting to know and understand their “financial truths”. She can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/cecile-lackie/.