Take Courage


You know what's the one thing I've wanted to do since exploring the space of living a freelance life?

Write.

You know what I haven't done?

Yeeeep. (Say it like that guy Dave on Storage Wars)

Last week I cleaned off my nightstand and left only what I love - which includes this framed quote:

It's literally the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning.

*sigh* Yeeeep.

Here I go....

It was just about a year ago that hospice brought the hospital bed to the house and we witnessed my dad's passage into timelessness.

That sounds deceptively beautiful.

It was hard and sad and shitty.

And - it was tender and warm and we were held. Friends came late at night because we asked them to and they sat in the dark and sang to my dad and they sang to us. My Aunty Toni was there every morning - till late, late at night. She helped when we needed her to and she didn't help when we needed her not to. Very, very few people in the world have that gift. The gift of being able to be present and witness desperate pain and struggle and not jump in to help because that is what is most needed. Space to experience desperate pain and struggle.

Several times I'd come home and my legs would buckle from beneath me and I'd literally collapse to the floor under the weight of grief - not even crying - just gasping as wave upon wave of grief swept over.

I remember being very intentional about feeling the weight of sadness and telling myself not to be afraid of it because this too, was love.

I was told recently that my dad is remembered as "The Legend". Maybe he is legendary because he is the only officer who ever asked another officer to write him a ticket for an expired safety check. Maybe it is the way he handled being tased. Or maybe it is the story about how a few weeks before retirement, he jumped up with full gear and grabbed onto a second floor balcony, then pulled himself up by his fingertips and jumped over the rail...

I like to think it is for the countless ways he was courageous.

I wonder if any of the officers who call him Legend, know that as a child and for many years as an adult, my dad was afraid of the dark. When I lived in Australia, he wrote to me about his fear.

Courage to be invincible.

I know I've said this before, but I am always intrigued that the root word of courage is the Latin word cor, meaning heart. And so in it's origin, courage meant to speak one's mind by telling all one's heart.

Sounds so much like - writing.

I read recently that we think our thoughts and we literally feel our feelings in our body. I feel fear in my throat and it settles down deep inside me just below my ribcage. Interestingly, I feel courage in my back, just between my shoulder blades and it moves through me to my heart and spreads across my chest and into my shoulders and upper arms.

Pslam 27:14 says, "Be strong and let your heart take courage".

I did a quick google search and over and over in the bible it talks about taking courage. Like it is a gift being offered that needs to be received. Or vitamins to make you strong.

Take Courage.

Dear Heart,

You know all those things you've wanted to do but have been too busy, or too tired, or distracted, or mostly just too afraid of what everyone else will think if you have the brilliant audacity to do them?

You know those things that come to you when you're in the shower with your eyes closed and head full of bubbles, or just after prayer and meditation, or in those moments between awake and asleep?

Those full-of-wonder, luminous, genius ideas?

You know those words that your soul is pregnant with, those words you know you are meant to write and say and pray - that enliven and inspire and give courage to others to go out and live their best life as if they are invincible?

Dear Heart, you know those things you've only dared in fleeting seconds to peek at and hold and breathe life into?

Take Courage,

Dear Heart,

and do them.

© 2017 by Daily Becoming & Janice Ikeda. All Rights Reserved.