Activating the Courage to Love

Would you say you are living your life courageously? I’m not just talking about the usual understanding of heroism or bravery. I’m talking about the life that is there for you. Are you embracing it? Pouring yourself into it? Eating it up?

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to just keep going. One of the most difficult things I’ve faced in my life was the betrayal of a friend. I was the chair of the board for a non-profit in New York City. When my term on the board completed, I submitted my name for re-election. When it came time for me to address the voting members, one of my closest friends asked a question, knowing that if I answered it with integrity I would make myself unpopular. So I gave a true answer and I wasn’t elected. dreamstime_s_11825070

To this day, it hurts a little bit to even think of the situation. I felt desolate. I felt like giving up. But I didn’t.

The rest of the story is that another opportunity—far more important to me—came along very shortly. That other opportunity has become central to the life of service I live today.

I know that greater opportunity wouldn’t have come if I didn’t have the courage to keep going—the courage to keep saying what is true, the courage to be myself and the courage not to stop.

It takes courage in all the dimensions of who we are as human beings to live a happy and fulfilling life. It takes courage to think for yourself, to share what you are feeling and to act with integrity. Maybe not initially. But there are always junctures in a human life in which there is a choice and where you have to ask yourself: Do I have the courage to keep going? Do I have the courage to embrace my life? Will I keep pouring the expression of who I am?

Maya Angelou says this:

Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically but nothing consistently without courage. 

Maya Angelou Courage

 

Courage is relevant to every dimension of a human life.

Perhaps the greatest courage of all is to love. That certainly includes romantic love for a spouse, life partner or lover. But the courage to love is central to all relationships at some level. It includes compassion, care, and forgiveness. And it applies to our attitude toward ourselves.

The courage to love is central to a human life because it comes right down to the central question for anyone: Will I give generously of who I am? If you do, you truly live. If not, you begin to die. So, activating the courage to love is the key to bringing life to your life.

Perhaps you, too, have had experiences in life that made you feel desolate and discouraged—that made you feel like giving up. And perhaps those experiences have led you to close off some of the greater love you have to bring in your life. If so, I propose that you could begin to activate to love right now, starting with yourself. You might be surprised what would begin to happen.

Tonight, I am beginning my four-day workshop, Becoming a Sun: Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence for a Happy and Fulfilling Life. The culmination of the workshop is about courage leading to grace. I believe that’s exactly how life works. When we have the courage to embrace our life—all of it—we find grace. There grace is, right in the middle of it all. Participants have the opportunity to feel that deeply relative to their own lives.

So may your days be filled with courage—knowing you are loved from within; that when you live with courage you are powered by love and backed up by the universe. The forces of creation enter the life of a truly courageous person.

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10 Responses to Activating the Courage to Love

  1. These series of texts from you, David, relating to your book and the workshop you are starting today, has been enriching and enjoyable to read. Such down-to-earth wisdom, based on experience and presented with both passion and clarity. It certainly inspires living with courage!

  2. Its just the right moment for me to read your words about your experience from courage to grace .
    Lately I needed a lot of courage to do and say the right things in challenging situations, as I did.
    And tonight I can be relaxed because what I said worked out very well. And a deep feeling off grace is here with me .
    I wish you all a great workshop of Becoming a Sun
    I feel part of it too, Thank you! Irene

  3. I wholeheartedly agree, David.,Thank you. Courage to love ourselves brings courage to open our hearts of love into the world. The first step in becoming a sun. One may have disappointments in opening our hearts to love, but that doesn’t discourage courage within ourselves, in fact, it encourages courage!

  4. David you demonstrate great courage in stating the truth which inspires others to stand up and be absolutely honest. Your recent words about your own experience of smoking, as did words Lawrence Mendes said to me at an event in Birmingham, resonated with my soul so that this addiction has finally left me. Thank you both for being love and truth in action on earth.

  5. Thank you David! As I read this really fine piece on courage, a gateway, viscerally felt opens to spaces within me allowing me to ‘see’ and experience with empathic understanding the protective choices I’ve made at various junctures of my life that set up walls that gave respite from a bewildering world, also blocked off a stronger flow of natural loving generosity, both towards myself and to those around me.

    Trying to love dutifully doesn’t do it! 🙂

    As I receive the spirit in your words, my heart opens to a deeper flow of warm radiant awareness of my own beautiful loving presence that is now easily shining through scar tissue of old choices and the emotional constrictions of wariness and doubt that have hung around. Even with the understanding and compassion I have felt and known – this has been kept within a limited range of pragmatic objective knowing that may accurately and insightfully observe my own state and that of others in my world), but this objective ‘observer knowing’ (I think you name it ‘witnessing of’ rather than ‘rooting for’ ) is unable to free up old choices and patterns of itself.

    The joyful gratitude of my Spirit comes alive again and I can both honour the integrity of a courageous tenacity I have known, that is now being unchained from my human culture and beliefs self created along with the tactics needed to bravely defend a survival based identity. ‘Not by might or power, but by my Spirit’, is my celebration!

    I feel your generosity of loving all the people in your world and reciprocate with blessings and thankfulness for your presence in my life! Thank You!

  6. Thank you, David, for your story and powerful words.

    The courage to keep going, to keep moving, no matter what the circumstance, is key here, because real courage, or being courageous, is known only when one’s identity is in Source—this is what I’ve come to know in life. Experiences of this nature are opportunities to reveal the truth and character of who I am. I’ve had a few disappointments in my lifetime and momentarily would become discouraged, but then there was this “knowing” in my heart of love that in spite of them, Love is really the ONLY answer and way to handle whatever shows up, so don’t ever stop because of disappointments or a hurt feeling. Fulfillment is known in the expression of Love—Be That! And while discouragement might occasionally well up, it is a feeling only to be handled in spiritual expression. I recognize that there is no stopping at any time because of circumstances, for this would only reveal weakness and this is not my true nature!

  7. So appreciate this opening of courage, and the BAS class. I’m reminded that the courage to accept what life offers rather than reject what doesn’t match your expectations is maybe the first step toward true, encompassing love. Thank you!

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