Have you ever felt courage? That gush that comes with believing that you are ready for whatever is on your way. You are prepared to fight your way into something, and you hope with everything in you that everything goes how you need it to. So you dream of a time where you don’t have to feel like your world is ending.
You look at your life, how you have to sleep hungry, stay in a place of abuse, how you have to look at your family and imagine how much they are suffering, and you hate it. You hate that it is your reality. So, one day, when the burden is heavy, you decide that you are done.
You wake up the next day and walk away from your abusive relationship; you decide that there was no better day to start your business than today; you choose to send that job application or tell that person how happy they make you. You believe that you have enough courage to change your circumstances, to walk away from the bad things, and walk towards the good ones, to jump towards your dream with blind faith and so much hope.
But then, as you are getting ready to take that leap, your humanity kicks in. Suddenly, all you can think about is what your family will eat if you walk away from your job. Thoughts of how you will have to move back home because your dream might not be enough to pay the bills flood your mind. You are scared to death because although your courage told you to leave a toxic situation, your most logical next step is to become homeless or start begging.
So, as your courage takes you to the edge, as you prepare to take that leap, you pray that things go your way, that these fears don’t become a reality. You have an idea of how the fall will be; you will leap and then wait until you feel the ground again. And while you are in the air, you will look at your options. You have more time to evaluate the next step.
While you are busy listening to your courage and looking for your next step, you hit something or something catches your attention. It seems promising, and you realize that it could give you half of what you need. You wanted a job that allows you to live your purpose and suddenly you find one that looks like it will help you to walk to your destiny. Yes, you expected things to go smoothly, but not this smoothly.
Everyone likes a soft life, so when you see this thing that allows you to reduce the blow you get from the leap, you decide to take it. This thing seems like a temporary fix with a long term potential. If you are lucky, you will ride it out for a while, and test the waters on how achievable your dreams are, and then, if everything is okay, you will make the final jump. This thing is a safety net, a back-up plan. It is easier.
You realize that while this will not give you all the things you want, all the things you know you can be, do, or achieve, it is something. You don’t have to keep worrying about how things will work out because this is safe. You can see the outcome of each action. You will balance your dreams with this thing you don’t even care for because it is safe.
If your dreams fail, you have something going on. You settle so much on the idea of safety that you decide to hold on. You will stay in that relationship while you figure out your next move. It doesn’t matter that it will kill you more than it already has. That you will have to pretend you were happy with someone who doesn’t know you, who will never see you. You decide to stay at that job that makes you feel like a failure.
Good god, you will stay at that place that makes you hate who you are. That place that never gives you the freedom you need to be yourself. You will hide a bit of who you are, just for a little longer because safe is good. Every day you walk into a world you already know you don’t belong in, just to do this thing that is safe but not fulfilling.
You settle for whatever is secure, whether by going back to a place that damages your soul or tells you that you are not good enough. You decide that it is better to stay at a place where you do not share all your gifts with the world because it is easier than giving it your all and being rejected.
You want to test the waters, sharing a bit of your magic at a time. Never too much, just enough to ensure that if you are rejected, you will be okay. You withhold love and hide from it because it would be absurd to imagine that you deserve someone who genuinely worships the universe for you. Anyone who tries to break down those walls you push away. This idea of unconditional love, unimaginable bliss, and complete belonging must be too good to be true; why would you believe it?
So this person comes along, they seem okay, at least they are not that bad. And they say they respect women; they say they don’t mind helping out with chores, they are not like those who beat their partners. So you take it, so you stay, so you settle.
Your boss tells you you are not good enough; your parents think you will never amount to anything; you believe your life is only as good as what the world thinks of you. You forget that the image you saw when courage was gushing, was put there for a reason.
What did courage say about you? What did she say you can do? Who could you become? What is your purpose? When courage sang, how did you feel? What did you believe about yourself? What did you imagine?
Come on; I know you know what I am talking about.
That moment when you dared close your eyes and listened to courage whisper your destiny, what did she say? And at that moment, when the entire world didn’t matter when the worries of reality didn’t matter because courage was speaking so firmly, and that was all you knew; what did she say? What picture did she paint?
That was what made you believe you could become someone better for yourself and those around you. That was the moment you saw yourself free from all the burdens this world seems to be pilling on your shoulders.
If you close your eyes now, you can see it and hear her tell you that you are magic and that the world was yours, that you were as limitless as the mountains, oceans, forests, and anything else that reveals the power of the universe. That the only thing that could determine whether you get to where courage said you could go was your faith. That as painful as it feels to walk away from the world you know, to take that leap into unfamiliar ground, it was going to be okay.
When you heard courage, you believed that your life could look so different, and you were ready to chase that image and make it a reality. But, you saw something at your peripheral, and you decide to hold on to that instead. You resolved to paint that image as cautiously as possible. But then, since you had heard courage because you had believed her, you can’t seem to find peace within.
Something is always wrong since you are at a place where you don’t belong. You are not comfortable because it’s not yours. You are trying to make a home at a transition point. You are trying to feel safe at a place that has hurt you more times than you would care to count. You are trying to find love at a place that has always reminded you that you are not enough and that you should be grateful someone cares enough to be with you.
The more you stay, the more you imagine that the things courage said were impossible, that they were nothing but the fragment of your imagination.
What if you closed your eyes?
What if you took a deep breath?
What if you were grateful that courage visited you?
What if you forgave yourself for being distracted?
What if you understood that it was okay to want to feel safe?
What if you acknowledged that you might get distracted again?
What if you promised yourself to keep trying as many times as you need to?
What if you promised commitment to courage?
That when you jump at safety, you acknowledge you are human, that you might need to rejuvenate and then get back to leaping. This way, you know that this place, this safety net is a stop, not a destination, there is a journey ahead, and you are getting ready for it.
And in these moments when you realize that you walked back into a broken situation or decided to clutch at the nearest thing, you acknowledge that they are transitions. It’s okay that you lost your focus a bit, but when you are ready, you will listen, and you will take that leap when courage comes calling again. You will walk into who you know you are meant to be and the things you know you can do.