Have you ever come in contact with a coward? Chances are, if you've lived enough life, you have. Or perhaps a former version of yourself was a coward. Either way, today, I am writing about Cowards.
I googled the definition of a coward today and here is what I found: a person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things; excessively afraid of danger or pain ... a dog with its tail between its legs.
In my 39 years, I've been faced with very few cowards. In fact, with the exception of maybe 2-3 people I've encountered, most people I know are pretty damn brave. I've been privileged to share spaces with Cancer survivors. I've gotten to know those who are overcoming the challenges of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. I even got to be parented by a man who delivered himself from harsh drug addiction.
From what they have shared with me, there were moments when they were in their darkest hours and they wanted to throw in the towel, give up on themselves or others and just quit. But something in them. Something deep down in the root of their being, gave them the PUSH to be brave.
We all have some shit ... some stuff that we are not proud of. Things we've said or done. Promises or agreements we've broken with ourselves or others. Places we've been that we know we never want to revisit. Not a one of us is without flaw or fear.
We do get to make a choice. We get to choose to be COURAGEOUS or COWARDLY. The choice is yours. In case you've convinced yourself otherwise, you do get to CHOOSE how you want to approach and react to life. No one decides that for you.
Some people say things like, "I'm a work in progress ... " well a work in progress eventually reaches a point of completion, right? So if you've been working, in progress to become a braver human being; but you're still behaving like a coward ... Hmmm - that doesn't seem like any progress is being made. Without progress, we experience complacency.
For instance, I recently encountered a Coward. This person's outward persona of a highly confident, successful and intelligent human being was pretty damn convincing. You know why? Because underneath every Coward lives a Hero (or Heroine). Its just up to YOU (if you're being a Coward right now) to decide to step into your Courageous self.
Being courageous doesn't mean being ruthless. Being heroic doesn't mean being unkind. Being courageous requires bravery. Belief in ones ability to overcome whatever negative self-talk, negative beliefs or other crap you're carrying around with you that causes you to walk with your head down in shame.
Being brave doesn't mean you have to climb Everest or accomplish some massive physical feat. Being courageous simply means choosing to face your greatest fears and step through them anyway.
For some, their greatest fear is accepting love. For other's, the fear is being sublimely happy. NO matter what the fear is, if you allow it to take hold of you, it will lead you in and out of some pretty shitty scenarios; and leave a wake of disappointment behind you.
Being a coward doesn't allow you the room to be accountable. It often puts you in spaces where deceit and lies are your only language. You become a snake-like, untrustworthy being who most would avoid being around. When really, deep down, you're just a little scared of trying something new.
Perhaps you're carrying shame about choices you made or experiences of your past. Just know, you cannot outrun yourself. Many have tried and failed. Where ever you go, there YOU ARE.
If we allow our fears to turn us into something other than our authentic self - the result is toxic.
If your'e dealing with a coward today - just dust your shoulders off.
Instead of expecting a Coward to own their shit. Or to be accountable, responsible or reliable. When faced with a coward, look them in the eyes and see, they are doing the best they can.
Pray for the coward. Send them love and light. Trust that one day, when the coward finds their inner courage, they may have the "balls" to step through their fears. Don't spend too much time trying to "call them on their shit" because ... they are not ready to own it.
A wise person once said: "You cannot be a hero without being a coward." - George Bernard Shaw
We all have a journey to greatness. Sometimes that journey takes us through a cowardly stage, where are fears are running the show. You get to decide when you're ready for your Hero to emerge.