Courage and Faith: Last but Not Least, Two Key Elements to Finding your Inner Healthy

Courage and Faith Blog. May 2014
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face... Do the thing you thing you cannot do.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves 'who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?'

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; its in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Marianne Williamson
From her book Return To Love

It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while
DARING GREATLY
so that his place shall never be
with those timid souls
who know neither victory or defeat.

- Theodore Roosevelt

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emmerson

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The Courage Part...

Each one of these quotes above has made a HUGE impact on my life in some way so I wanted to share them with you together because they so powerfully speak to finding courage within.

When I think of courage, I think of one simple thing - the ability to take the next step you need to take in the direction of hope. I believe that courage comes when we've come to the end of our rope, we're tired and we feel like we can't go any further. It's that place that we find the courage IS within us, we just never saw it. When it comes, we can't believe it. We can't believe we can finally take the right steps in the right direction for our lives. 

More importantly those steps are met along the way with something that speaks deeply to our hearts and changes our souls. That thing is the story. When we have the courage to be ourselves, to share our story with another person - or sometimes even just to listen to another person sharing their story - we get a tremendous hope. That hope shows us we are not alone and that if someone else found the courage in them, we can too. 

That's why I say for #6 of finding your Healthy Within - find the COURAGE to share your story.

In 12-step we say the serenity prayer and pray for the serenity to accept the things we cannot change and courage to change the things we can. Getting out of ourselves, opening up our hearts, minds and ears to someone else's story helps us get a tremendous perspective. For my walk and I know for many others, that is a MAJOR key to getting healthy within. Open up your heart and your courage will grow.

The Faith Part....

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to the mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."  

MATTHEW 17:20 NIV

I used to think that my faith was comparable. As a kid, I'd see a family that was "together" at church and think -  their life is better (on the outside) so they must have a "better" faith.

I know that's not true today. It's got nothing to do with that. In fact, faith is NOT comparable because everyone has their own individual faith journey and man is that is a beautiful thing, when you realize it's your journey and no one else's to take?

I know today, I did reach a point in my life at 31, that I felt my faith was gone. Things, life, weren't going as I planned. Everyone else seemed to be "getting it right" or "moving faster." I was wondering why God was taking so long with me. 

But then, He came to me in my point of deepest need and showed me that there was a mustard seed of faith within me that could grow.

All I needed was that mustard seed.

That mustard seed still grows. It grows when I feel that God is guiding me or trying to show me the way. It even grows when things get ugly. When I know he's there in my heart, or I know in my head he's there but I just feel alone - I know today that it's in those places he is with me more than ever. I just have to have faith and trust the HE IS.

He's God. I'm not, and I know everything he has brought me through in this life. I know there is nothing I can't get through without Him and that's a pretty unbelievable thing. I didn't get that feeling because I said, "Oh okay, gotta get God in my life. Let's just fit him into this corner." 

It happened because I let him into every corner, nook and cranny of my being.

Do I sometimes not want him there? Of course. I'm human.

But I know he's ALWAYS there and NEVER stops loving me.

That love is a game changer. I'm not talking about romantic love. I'm talking about the love of God that is in us an all around us. Faith shows us how much we are truly loved, and that is a beautiful thing.

That is why "Faith" is the Final and 7th element of the Healthy Within Blog series.

It's because we all need it. When life gets rough - especially when the storms are high, the situation is sticky or the circumstances are rough - we need it. We need it when we start a new journey. We need it in the middle of a journey. We need it to finish out a journey.

I can't emphasize enough - the importance of faith. More importantly, I can't tell you how important it is to not put it on a pedestal and think it's something you don't or can't have or my favorite one - "He's up there, not down here and is too busy for me." So - not - true.

Mustard seed. Have you ever seen a mustard seed? (Tiny.) You got this.

"Faith is taking the firs step even when you don't see the whole staircase."                          Martin Luther King

As I'm writing this post, I've been listening to a song that reminds me of when I was a teenager hanging out with my Dad and stepmom on vacation in St. Croix, USVI. We would lay by the pool blasting this whole album, soaking in the sun and just relaxing. Such was the life!

 I loved the song then and I love it today even more.  Back then I heard it and was wishing I could find a love. Now I've found a love that is so much bigger and deeper than I ever could or will be able to imagine.  

This song has certainly changed it's meaning for the better. Now it reminds me that it's my FAITH that fuels the presence of HIS love in my life....and I'm grateful.

I hope you enjoy this little moment with Eric Clapton and "Runnin' on Faith."

This is the last installment of the blog series Healthy Within. Stay tuned for later this week when I write a blog on the "10 Tips for the Graduates of 2014, xo Your Healthy Voice." Check it out! Should be up by Thursday.