We often think that being courageous or brave is about facing the outside world, doing the thing we are scared of even if we feel anxious, muscling through it, tensing up and grinding.
This kind of courage is exhausting and draining. It has its place, but it's not the only way.
A different kind of courage is the kind that is required for looking at ourselves.
The courage to not give up on ourselves, even when we see our anxiety, our pain, our fear, and other uncomfortable feelings or urges like jealousy, greed, or meanness.
When we take the time and create the space to openly, honestly, and compassionate look at these in ourselves - the things that scare us and cause us to often start to criticize ourselves - we are being courageous. We are changing our thought patterns, our ways of relating to ourselves.
This is what therapy is all about. And it starts with the courage to look inward.
It requires a lot of courage to do this, but it is not draining in the same way as the outward courage. It is often enlightening, often expansive, often a relief to gain more clarity. When we recognize that our feelings and our intense discomfort is human, it also becomes easier to be kind to ourselves.
We all grow up in different circumstances and with different genetics. But we are human, we carry around human brains which are trying to keep themselves and our bodies safe from threat and harm. Sometimes we can get caught in alert mode for a long time, but with tools, intention, and inward courage, we can start to undo these patterns.
The data tells us this, and perhaps our intuition does too.
You wouldn't be here if you didn't already have the courage that is required to look inward.
Remembering that is a good place to start from when you start a self-guided therapy programme.
Wishing you goodness and ease in remembering your courage.
Thank you for being here and helping us improve Alena.