Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Courage to be You!

I'm reading a book by Mark Nepo, Finding Inner Courage, and I'm struck with his understanding of what true courage is.  He says, "The word courage comes from the Latin cor, which literally means heart.  The original use of the word courage means to stand by one's core."  No wonder I'm drawn to this book!

I love that definition!  In the language of restoration it reflects our concept of reconnecting to authentic identity.  Simultaneously I see two pictures of what that means.  First, I see myself drawn to that core, intrigued, standing by it, discovering it, embracing it and protecting it.   And I recognize the courage that it takes to do that exploration.  All the things that have "shaped" my life have left behind a definition of what the world assigned to me as who I am.  And yet, beyond that is the true me.  Pushing through others expectations and definitions to discover me is costly, risky and hard work- it takes courage!

Secondly I see myself standing by my core, living out of what I've uncovered! Immediately I feel the peace and joy of living from authentic identity.  It means that the things I attempt are managed with the power that lies in knowing fully what I bring to the table. Living out of my core means I know my limitations, I know my strengths and I live in that balance without fear or regret.And it takes courage to do that, especially when others object. 

The best part of standing by one's core and living out of authentic identity?  Because I believe that my authentic identity was created with the heart and handprint of God, I'm living out of the intimacy provided in that connection.  And I feel loved, accepted and powerful!