CourageShift your focus for a moment to courage. Simply defined, true courage is not the absence of fear. It is the acting in spite of fear.

First, we have to courageous to face the truth regarding what needs to change. Courage is a type of intense introspection requiring honesty with ourselves.

Second, courage, to be congruent, to live a life in which our public and private priorities are in sync and in which what we experience on the inside is consistent with we show on the outside.

promiseIntegrity is harmony between our moral beliefs and our actions. You cannot be the person at work, who seems to say anything that will help them fit into the group, is the same person who professes their respect. A double-minded person is unstable in their ways. You will learn over the years that posturing, posing, pea-cocking, and pretending are exhausting and brings unhappiness. In short, you have to do more than care about things if you are to heal yourself and those who surround you every day.

Caring, and healing are not the same. Caring is lending support while healing is a process, often a life-long process of recovery and growth in spite of a physical, emotional, or spiritual assault. Healing requires all the energy of your entire being. You have to be there, fully awake, aware and participating when it happens.

Healing is much more than getting better or having our problems go away. Healing is growth, development, maturation. In a word, healing is change. It takes time and energy and struggle, but healing teaches us. Healing can help us to become more sensitive and more awake to life. Healing invites humility and faith. It opens our hearts to truth, beauty and grace. You have to develop the courage to live counter to the world’s dominant culture. You know what I’m talking about – the culture in which money, sex, material possessions, fame, violent behavior, and carnal exploits are the currency for success.

We live in a world in which appearance and approval are the keys to social status and power. It is far better to find the courage to say no to this dominant culture. The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. Any you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, can’t buy it. Create your own.

Action is essential to healing. To act instead of merely being acted upon was a key in the War in Heaven before we came to this portion of our lives. You are what you do; You do what you choose; If you don’t like what you are, then change what you do.

Courage is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. This is how we wake in the morning, face each task, resolve our issues, and grow. Gird up thy loins, and take heart in the work ahead.