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We all want to be brave

I admire bravery, I think we all do.  That is why so many movies and television programs have a brave hero facing unsurmountable obstacles.  Some days daily life feels like a quest.  I suffer from a chronic illness that has many and varying side symptoms.  Each day presents a different challenge or unexpected obstacle.  I know that I am not alone.  For many people, the personal obstacle course is provided by another person, a sick child, an elderly parent,  a loved one battling addiction or crippled by a mental illness. 

I never enter a crisis or rock-hard season feeling ready or brave.  I struggle to believe I will muster up the strength to handle what is coming  next.  I find my anxiety rising and showing up in unexpected ways.  When I am binge watching a show I do not really like that much, I realize it is to keep my thoughts away from my next medical procedure.  We are like the hero in so many shows, starting out weak, ill prepared and unsure of ourselves.

Courage is not something I  pack to take with me, like a good pair of hiking books.  I must leave without it. Instead, courage finds its way to me when I need it most.  When I falter and believe that I will fail, courage arrives from some unknown place within me. I find the strength to make an appointment or show up for a procedure.  I know that courage comes when someone makes another trip to rehab, gets through another long night at the hospital or cries another bucket of tears. 

I now understand that I do not need to feel courageous or brave or able to handle what confronts me.  I only need to commit to the task ahead.  I can take one step, one struggle at a time.

Courage will be there when I need it the most.

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