Thursday, October 13, 2011
Thoughts On Being A Coward
I am somewhat of a coward. Not all the time. And not in all circumstances. Just some times and in certain situations. I admit this. I own it. For this reason, I am also courageous. When I know that I am cowardly, I must act intentionally in the face of it. I must choose the opposite of what my cowardice would have me do. This is courage, at least for me it is.
It is extremely difficult to stare down fear, to risk doing the unpleasant, to risk doing what might be troublesome, to bear the disdain of others, to feel their disapproval. My cowardice appears when I suspect that my actions will reap the same outcomes that have been in the past. But my courage appears when I act in spite of the fear.
Oddly, I am a coward when I don't know that I am acting cowardly. When I am aware of my own cowardice, when I feel it, when I name it and own it, then I can choose to act on it or to act against it. Either way, I think it leads to courage.
My courage arises when I can say, "Yes, I am a coward in this moment, and I am choosing the cowardly way." I am courageous enough to admit that I have been one or am about to be one. And my courage arises when I can say, "Yes, I am feeling cowardly, I am afraid, but I will do the unpleasant thing anyway." I am courageous because I act against my cowardice and that takes "guts."
Guts--that inner part that twists and turns when cowardice arises. It is admitting that my guts feel queasy and unsettled. So having "guts" to do something really is to take the queasy innards and do the very thing they are screaming not to do. So even though I am somewhat of a coward, I have "guts" and I use them, . . . mostly.
Posted by Lisa Gonzales-Barnes