It’s an edgy scene on the shady side of town. Pandemic, financial distress, social justice demands met by more police brutality, violations of human rights, the growing horror that is the orange menace in the white house, the post office, the future of our children, the planet, the shaky foundation so many of us are walking on right now, the lies, the disregard of facts, the unknown, the actual danger of the virus, and the world as we have known it that has gone bye bye. How do we cultivate confidence while walking on unstable ground?
Where is the line between fear and caution? How do you navigate the seam between being led by trepidation and being careful?
Fear is an important function. It warns us from danger. It makes us pause and consider things. It also makes us freeze, thereby serving us on a silver platter into the mouth of danger. It stops us from doing stupid things. And it also makes us do stupid things. It helps us establish healthy boundaries. And it limits our capacity to do great things, as it obscures our view of possibilities.
Fear can save your life. Fear can ruin your life. Courage is not lack of fear. Courage is the willingness to face our fears. How do you walk the line between fear and fearlessness?
Being careful does not make you fearful. Being cautious does not make you a coward. Wearing a mask is not an expression of fear, or of being a sheep. Distancing is not what you do because you’re afraid, it’s what you do because you are responsible.
A lot of people feel scared for the future, anxious, nervous, and stressed. It’s hard to see choices, opportunities, and solutions when you feel that way. It’s (almost) impossible to feel hope.
In these unsteady times we are called to weave together fortitude and forethought, valor and vigilance, alertness and audacity, discernment and determination.
There’s a lion roaring in your heart. Wild. Ferocious. Brave. And regal. This year is giving us an opportunity to reinvent ourselves. Challenging. Scary. Painful for many of us. And also exciting, inspiring, and meaningful. We must receive the intensity and resist the tyranny, revive our boldness and repel victimhood, release trying to control things and reclaim our empowerment.
It takes courage to be willing to change. Courage to be who we are. Courage to try things out. Courage to go out there and fight for justice and equality. Courage to do new things. Courage to back off. It takes courage to let your voice be heard. And courage step back and amplify someone else’s voice. It takes courage to go for what you want. And courage to change directions, especially after you’ve invested a lot in something. It takes courage to be big and bold, and courage to be quiet and reflective. It takes courage to stand in the spotlight. And courage to go into the darkness. It takes courage and curiosity to adapt to outer circumstances that seem so different from how we’ve envisioned life, and to tap into your inner resources and recreate yourself out of the broken pieces.
What we’re harvesting this season is different from the fruit we thought we would. What we are dealing with is unknown territory. What will we make with what’s in our baskets? With ingredients less familiar, we will need to cultivate the courage to make something new. This moment is yours. What will you do with it?
Breathe into your heart. Feel what’s there. Fear. Daring. Love. indifference. Trust. Doubt. Tenderness. Toughness. Everything that’s there is a piece to work with. Gather the ingredients and go into the cave. Receive yourself – all of your parts. In the cave you’ll meet your lion. Light a fire. Put all components in your cauldron. Stir the brew.
What are you cooking with the ingredients your life is giving you?
What are you conjuring up?
What are you afraid of?
What courageous act can you take today?
Comment here and tell us – what courageous act will you take today?