How to Know If You Are Courageous

 September 28, 2016

Show me the man that can stand true to his ideals in the midst of trials, from the fire of opposition and unkindness from ones he called friend right before he made a decision to forge a new path, before he answered his own call.
THIS is the mark of true courage.

“That’s it?” you ask!  Okay, if you doubt, let me explain, I’ll even give you several.

Crab Mentality. (notice even Wikipedia defines it) Yes, that’s right and perhaps you’ve heard of it. Crab mentality, sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, is a way of thinking best described by the phrase, “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” As mirrors of each other, we’re often frightened by what we see in our counterpart. A trusted friend tells you they’re launching a new business and up in you rises the terrifying memories of you own failed business launch and stories ensue to warn your friend that this is a bad idea, carefully siting statistics of new business failures, even assuring him your motives are pure and in his best interest. The scary part is your motives ARE good, but they’re not accurate.

Religious Trauma Syndrome. What? Ya, it’s real and you don’t have to look far to find ones that have undergone tremendous abandonment and even persecution to escape from the clutches of religion. A few particular religions known for strict membership rules such as Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslim are known to outcast, disfellowship and disassociate ones that turn from the faith or worse, fall from the graces of behaviors. Even some culturally strict Jewish customs can be demanding to keep the tenants of the religious pillars that maintain family wealth and prosperity, requiring children to maintain interfaith marriage.

Divorce. (my personal favorite) Nothing divides people like a divorce, especially if there’s children and the family is heavily rooted into a community. I’ve seen entire friendship circles splinter off into an uncomfortable awkwardness, Facebook de-friending and abandoning of 10 year relationships because a friend chose to leave their spouse. I’ve seen churches divide, businesses be disassembled, destroying the profits of customers and eliminating jobs for the innocent bystanders…of a divorce. In reality, divorce can be a new beginning for two great people that may still love each other but have grown apart and need to evolve their relationship into something else.

So I’ll say it again. Show me the man that carefully chooses his commitments. A man that is slow to speak and quick to listen, careful even in the casual conversation to not anchor an idea that is contrary to his mindset only to gain favor with his audience. A man that is busy about his work, admits his faults and makes amends, stays true to the business of self love and care, balanced in his dealings, fair and kind, yet not weak. His hands grace a woman’s skin with intention. His eyes have a fixed gaze of wonder, curiosity and determination. The earth graces his feet and upholds his steps in support of connected purpose. His tears of both sadness and joy are not hidden from the world for a fear of what you may think of him. He’ll venture, he’ll create, he’ll laugh and he’ll champion the most innocent and humble of dreams of another.

We are but a remaining few. You will find us waiting, planning, speaking in our secret codes and verbiage to ones that also want more. Not just more for accumulation sake, but for the advancement of goodness to all mankind where our women can dance in their beauty and our children flourish in their innocence. We wear this state of readiness like armor and we suit-up everyday as it falls from us while we sleep in rest for the next day.

HE…is a man. He was not born this way but rather was chiseled with the many tools of life to a new creation and re-birthed into this state. He knows no other way.

I’ll end with a poem titled, “IF” by Rudyard Kipling below in hopes that it will bring a courageous stirring to the hearts of my fellow men and an articulation to the women reading of what we endure.

In the face of great trials, whether internal or external, whether friend or foe, let us advance from the shadowy depths of our hearts, forge into the unknowns and return to this planetary shift pressing into us to love where there is no gain and to boldly stand and say, “I am courageous.”

~Robin Reed

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