Live With Courage

by Jen Slayden on · 17 comments

Courage. What does the word mean to you? As a young child I pic­tured a being named Courage. It was always Courage who defeated the evil forces, res­cued the maiden, and took great mea­sure to ensure the “hap­pily ever after”. Do you remem­ber those sto­ries as a child? The hero, the one who res­cues. The fear­less one, this Courage….?

I etched that image into the folds of my mind for a long time. I tried to meet Courage, but he was the elu­sive shadow I would chase and never catch. The nick­name I had for myself was Doubt and Fear, so I didn’t think Courage would accept me. You see, Courage seemed to hang with friends who rocked the world and made the biggest dif­fer­ences in lives, were always con­fi­dent, and showed no fear whatsoever!

Through­out the years I started to under­stand that Courage had off­spring that con­tin­ued being brave, but that the smaller Courage’s seemed to be make just as much of an impact (if not more) as the big guy. Small but mighty, these lit­tle ones!

If you have ever felt that courage was some­thing only a “cho­sen few” could know, join the club. Then think again and ques­tion it! The faces of courage are all dif­fer­ent, but they com­pletely sur­round us!

There was a Courage in my ele­men­tary school when I was a child. She stood up for some­one bul­ly­ing a stu­dent with dis­abil­i­ties. I sat shocked, not know­ing how to respond. She voiced her loud opin­ion. She was a Courage.

Courage was liv­ing with me as a teen when I admit­ted a mis­take, even though I knew the con­se­quences of my actions would be brutal.

Courage is my friend who fights a daily bat­tle with a rare, untreat­able can­cer while she raises three beau­ti­ful girls in hopes she will see them another year through.

Courage found it’s way back to me, when I broke down, defeated after three kids and a deep depres­sion. Courage was the strong force that got me out of bed, led me to help, and for­ever change the path of my life, career, and my connections.

The biggest les­son I have learned is that each and every one of us has a branch of the fam­ily tree named Courage. Some branches we may see moral courage and other branches phys­i­cal courage. Some­times they are inter­twined. One person’s courage may mean tak­ing HUGE risks or chal­lenges, while another’s per­son courage may be to stay sober every day. What mat­ters is that we all embrace courage in what­ever way we can, get to know it, model it for the next gen­er­a­tion, and help it grow within our­selves so we can blos­som into who we were meant to be.

The actual word COURAGE is derived from the Latin word COR….which means heart. If you remem­ber that, courage will help you live your life with integrity, rec­og­niz­ing that when we live with courage we learn to love more and fear less.

Always remem­ber, Big Courage was once a Lit­tle Courage too.

So I leave you with a sim­ple reminder from one wise child:

“Promise me you’ll always Remem­ber:
You’re Braver than you Believe;
And Stronger than you seem;
And Smarter than you think.”

~ Christo­pher Robin to Win­nie The Pooh

In Har­mony,


by Jen Slay­den

Jen Slay­den finds her har­mony in West­ern Mon­tana with her hus­band Mark, their three kids, and an out­door lov­ing black lab named Cody. Stop by and check out her life in music, words, and edu­ca­tion at Find Your Har­mony.
Jen Slayden
View all posts by Jen Slay­den

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