Courage:You'll never leave home without it.
Everyone knows this story. There is a Lion, a Scarecrow, and a Tin Man who all have a common denominator: Dorothy.
The story is really about how Dorothy must integrate all of these aspects of herself, within herself, so that she can find her " internal home" and begin her life in totality. Each of these figures, the Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Tin-Man, are metaphors for different parts of Dorothy's personal growth.
The moral of the story: All of these aspects are within you already. When you acknowledge them, only then can you integrate them into who you are and into your life.
Courage is within all of us. Perhaps I will write additional blog posts about each of these "characters" of the movie, but for now, I will focus in courage.
COURAGE: 1. The mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. 2. The ability to do something that frightens one. 3. Strength in the face of pain or grief.
Regardless of how strong and resilient you are, there are times in your life when you question your courageousness. It may be a fleeting moment, but you will, at some time, have that moment of doubt.
I have questioned my own sense of courage many times. I have doubted my ability to face something that could be potentially painful. I have given my power away to fear, intermittently. If I didn't share this with you, then who am I to write about it?
What I have found, though, within myself and within every single person whom I encounter, is that doubt is no match for courage. Doubt is just doubt. It plays on a different field than courage. Doubt is in our heads and that's where it lives.
Courage lives in action; in our bodies. It is a doer, not a thinker.
I am blessed to be able to say this; every time I have challenged myself to be courageous in the face of fear or anxiety, I have always won. I have always risen up, grown more, and stepped into a better living space.
Each time I have challenged a client or friend to be courageous, learning how to re-define their fear based thoughts into doable behaviors, they have resiliently succeeded; gaining further momentum for the next time they are tested to side with fear or courage.
Dorothy is no different. She persevered, even when she was terrified and had no one to fall back on, she relied on her intuition and her desire to get what she wanted; what she needed.
We all have our own Tin Man, our own Scarecrow, and our own Lion inside of us. We call on them when we need to. When we need to have more love and compassion, we call on the Tin Man. When we need to think more and use our brain, we call on the Scarecrow. When we need to face pain or fear head on, we call on our Lion.
These archetypes are common to all of us. Other names might be used such as Warrier, Lover, Magician, or Sovereign, to describe additional parts of ourselves. Nonetheless, we all embody these aspects within ourselves.
You might not necessarily know what qualities each of these archetypes have, when they have been present in your life unknowingly before now, or how you can intentionally step into and call upon these parts of yourself in times of need. But they are there; idling and waiting for you to connect with them.
They will serve you well, despite their shadow sides, they allow you to make changes in your life when you are ready.
I have many inspirational quotes around my home to summon me back to a positive place. One, in particular, which relates to this topics is:
" Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice, at the end of the day, that says, I will try again tomorrow."
Even if you choose courage tomorrow, remember that it is already inside you. You don't have to "develop" it, or "fine tune" it or whatever else you think you might need to do to fix yourself so that you can use it.
You just need to BE IT.
Get in touch with a time where you were "COURAGE". What did it feel like in your body? What thoughts did you think that were different in your "COURAGE" frame of mind" than in other states of mind? How did you talk to yourself? How did you stand, walk, and talk to others? What was your demeanor, your tone of voice, and your word choice? What did you do differently as COURAGE than you did in fear?
Find that place of COURAGE and imprint all of these aspects of your Warrier self into your subconscious, so that you can BE IT at anytime.
BE IT in the face of fear and humility.
BE IT in the face of worry and uncertainty.
BE IT in the face of pain and grief.
You have the capacity to persevere through anything.
You are the "Courageous Lion" and you are home.
In love and light, Janis www.cohenfamilycounseling.