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,

Jen


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

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

sheila March 4, 2012 at 7:45 am

:)
LOVE this. Yes, Courage comes in many forms, in many places, in many hearts, and in many times. I love Courage. I love this post, it’s marvelous!
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Jen March 5, 2012 at 8:34 am

Hi Sheila,
I’m glad this one spoke to you! I always appreciate your input. May you always have a secret stash of courage hanging around for when you need it:)
Love and harmony, always!
Jen
Jen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Free tune Friday…..water, that important life source!My Profile

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Jenna March 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

I agree with Sheila! For some, just getting out of bed in the morning is courage, so what looks like small courage to me may be BIG courage to her/him. Thank you for this post. Your contributions to my daily life through your writing are irreplaceable!

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Jen March 5, 2012 at 8:36 am

Dear Jenna,
Thank you, dear friend! Courage really is defined differently for each and every one of us. The important thing is that we all live with courage and try to build on it!
Love it when you stop by and add your contributions! And thank YOU for what you contribute to my life. Friends are another great source for me to find COURAGE:)
In Harmony,
Jen
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Suzie Cheel March 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Love this post Jen and thanks for sharing this meaning 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.

Amazing how it is all about love. Lance’s theme for March speaks to me- time to give myself a dose of courage- thank you
Suzie Cheel´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Power of IntentionMy Profile

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Jen March 5, 2012 at 8:37 am

Hi Suzie,
I really appreciate you being here! We all need reminders to give ourselves a dose of courage. So glad this spoke to you. And you are right….it always seems to come back to love, in one way or another, doesn’t it?!

Hope your month of March is filled with all the courage you want and need.
In Harmony,
Jen
Jen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Free tune Friday…..water, that important life source!My Profile

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Betsy at Zen Mama March 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Jen,
I love this and have known since first reading your story on your “About” page that you have courage. And I may have to post your quote about courage from Christopher Robin to Pooh (and link to you of course)! So wonderful! I’ll be thinking of you as you use courage throughout any other obstacles that come your way…
Betsy
Betsy at Zen Mama´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Dark And Stormy Night Miracle!My Profile

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Jen March 5, 2012 at 8:44 am

Hi Betsy,
Don’t you love quotes from Winnie the Pooh? They always seem to speak to me! Perhaps I need to thumb through more children’s books to find my own enlightenment!!

Thank you, always for what you share. I know I have read posts on the Zen-Mama blog also that demonstrate courage. And this morning, watching the news stories abound of courage in the wake of the weather systems in the mid-west. My heart goes out to all that need courage now.

In harmony and friendship, Betsy!
Jen
Jen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Free tune Friday…..water, that important life source!My Profile

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Heidi March 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

Jen – What a great post! It makes me stop and really think about things. Thank you for the quote…I am going to post it in both of my kid’s rooms where they can see it everyday (and one on the fridge for everybody). After a weekend of watching some very beautiful young girls play basketball with all of their hearts, here are few things that COURAGE means to me…..1.) Being supportive-win or lose…. 2). Never giving up or quitting on the team when things are not going how you hoped they would …..
3.) Congratulating the other team…. and 4.) Walking out of a gym as a whole team, including coaches and parents with heads held high. Thank you again, I always appreciate your outlook on so things!

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Jen March 7, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Heidi,
I totally agree! With the tournament fresh in my mind too, it is an important reminder that courage needs to be practiced in all aspects of our life!
THank you so much for your input!
IN Harmony,
Jen
Jen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Free tune Friday…..water, that important life source!My Profile

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Mirana March 6, 2012 at 1:12 am

In the end, we realize to celebrate everything, because everything is a part of life, and life is a blessing. Smile. You are here. Laugh. You are breathing. It is a blessing, and simply let go experiences to make room for new experiences.

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Jen March 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Mirana. Love this! Celebrate, indeed! And it also takes courage to let go sometimes to make that room for new experiences. Forge on!

Love,
Jen
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Andrew Walker March 6, 2012 at 2:16 am

To live with courage means that no matter what,who, when, or where something happened, you’ll still be able to survive it, and live on.
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Jen March 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Andrew….YES!
So perfectly summed up.
Thank you. And I might add: live on with JOY and HARMONY!
Because once we have had hard times, we appreciate the good times even more…
In Harmony,
Jen
Jen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Free tune Friday…..water, that important life source!My Profile

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Michelle Voigt March 6, 2012 at 9:29 am

Wow, just the reminder I needed today. Whether through our phone conversations or through your writing, you always inspire me! So nice to be reminded that courage comes through the little steps too.
Moving through the day with a little more courage…Michelle

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Jen March 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Ah Michelle!
And you inspire me. It is all about those baby steps, right?! Courage is the same way….
Thank you, dear friend!
Jen
Jen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Free tune Friday…..water, that important life source!My Profile

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