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Courage doesn't mean you don't feel Afraid

I have a fridge magnet that says: “Courage doesn’t mean you don’t feel afraid, it means you don’t let fear stop you”. Without realising it, on buying this magnet a long time ago, it was to be my reminder and positive affirmation to keep courage every time I opened my fridge, especially when tough times hit.

My blog went quiet, not having written a piece since May 2023.  My world had become too hostile, overwhelming, and going inward to cope was the only thing to do.   Like so many people in the world, I am not alone in having felt heartache, fear, uncertainty and despondency.  My life had turned inside out and without going into details, let us say that everything that had been mapped out, that was predictable and, on the horizon, flipped and I found myself living in a nightmare like in the movies.  It required some choices to be made.  We have been told we have free will and yet when making choices that others do not understand or care to understand, we realise that not everyone will support us or bless us.  Many will stand in judgement and take sides.  But it's those that you can lean on, those that care to understand and reach out, who will help you on this tough journey of life.  Appreciate those who support you.

Today I write to you from Portugal having left my home country South Africa just on over two months ago.  In my late 50’s is it foolish or brave?  Most days I feel brave and yet there are days that missing my special family, friends and dog, trying to learn a difficult language and carving out a new life, are just hard, and I have had to actively dig deep for courage.   

In doing so, here are a few actions that I have found have helped me along the way.  When you are having a really bad day, be good to yourself.  Making time for yourself is not selfish, it is essential. Make time to do things that fill your soul be it sleep, a stroll, listening to music, journalling, praying or meditating.  If you need to cry to get rid of the sadness or frustration, then cry.  Feeling deep gratitude for what you do have, every day, thanking your creator and opening your eyes and ears to the good things that surround you. Learning to let go of what you cannot control.   You know this but it's hard to put into practise.   Write down what you can control and what can be done.  Then write down what you cannot control.  Actively visualise removing that from your life – get rid of that piece of paper.  Mentally steel yourself and you will learn to block it out eventually.  Mental fitness is like a muscle.

Most of all, I have learnt that having a heart means sometimes it just hurts, and just being courageous is all we can do.  We can reason and plan with our head, but it is the heart that keeps beating and keeps us alive.  Having a heart that hurts but also has the capacity to love allows us to fully embrace this life we are given.   You have choices and don’t let fear cripple you from making them.  Remember not making a choice is a decision in itself.  Life is for living, fully.


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