Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saturday Night Philosophizing

I have been wondering about the idea of courage. My mettle had been challenged recently. Courage comes from the same word for "heart" in French (coeur). To have courage is to have heart. Well, I have that (I think). So maybe something else is in the way? What could that be? Well, I suppose the opposite of courage.

What is the opposite of courage? My first response: fear. So I started thinking about the idea of fear. And I don't mean it in a "ahh, monsters!" kind of way. I am thinking fear as mental limits that I have created as a safety net. I let this fear define my boundaries. Fear of the unknown. Fear of potential. Fear of success. Fear of failure. If I limit myself, then I lessen the chance for heartache. "See! Look at me! I didn't have to work so hard and now I have reached my goal!" I let the limits keep me from stretching myself. I sit comfortably in my confined approach, not wanting to see how much further I can go.

But does fear play a role in courage? Isn't courage an active conquering of fear? Doesn't courage stare fear down and take command over fear? So if my own self-imposed boundaries are supported by my fears, it will be my courage that will break them down. I use my awareness of my fears to feed my courage. It will be my courage that allows for dreams to have life (rather than letting fear squelch them). It will be my courage that overcomes the fears disguised as emotional safety.

This is vague on purpose, in part because it can apply to many aspects of my life.

But I know there is something more there for me. I have to have the courage to chase after it.

I am on my mettle.

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