Courage means doing what you fear most until you succeed

The word ‘courage’ always makes me think of the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz. I love that he does whatever he needs to do to free Dorothy. His love for her is so strong that it overcomes his fear, and in taking brave actions on her behalf, he finds his courage.

Many years ago I worked with a man who been in the armed service as a parachute jumper. As part of his job, he would courageously jump into enemy territory. Yet, when it came to feeling his feelings, he had no courage at all. He was so terrified of his feelings that he lived his life numbed out, which made it impossible for his wife to connect with him. He was working with me because his wife had said she would divorce him unless he opened his heart to her. But, since love and pain are in the same place in the heart, to open to his love for her, he also had to open to his pain, and he was very scared to do that. He said early in our work together that he would rather risk his life in enemy territory than risk getting emotionally hurt. It took great courage for him to open to the deep pain that had been buried in him since he was a child.

Look inside and see what you have not had the courage to do:

  • Do you hold back following your passion out of fear of failure?
  • Are you relationship avoidant out of fear of engulfment – of feeling trapped?
  • Do you keep yourself isolated for fear of rejection?
  • Do you resist learning to love yourself out of fear you can’t do it?
  • Do you procrastinate out of fear of being controlled?
  • Do you avoid trying new things for fear of making a fool of yourself?
  • Do you stay focused in your head rather than in your body, or numb out with addictions out of fear of getting hurt?
  • Do you stay stuck in a job you dislike out of fear of failure?
  • Do you stay stuck in an unloving relationship out of the fear of being alone?
  • Do you avoid personal growth out of fear of finding out something about yourself that you don’t like?
  • Do you avoid opening to a spiritual source of love and guidance for fear of finding out that nothing is there, or that nothing is there for you?
  • Do you avoid speaking up for fear of being wrong and being rejected?
  • Do you keep yourself limited for fear of making mistakes?
  • Other ______________________________________________________

There is no doubt that it takes courage to risk making mistakes, or failing, or getting hurt, or losing yourself. It takes huge courage to risk opening your heart and loving. One of my favorite quotes is this one by C.S. Lewis from The Four Loves:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

It doesn’t take courage to do the easy stuff – the stuff that doesn’t scare us. It takes courage to do what it is what we are afraid of, and that’s what brings joy to life.

Alanis Morrissette
Alanis Morissette
“Inner bonding really nurtures and fosters the relationship between self and spirit. Personally, it has helped every relationship that I have. I’m so grateful.”- Alanis Morissette   Find out how Inner Bonding has helped singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette to evolve in her courage to love>>

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CO-CREATOR OF INNER BONDING Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of several best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner Bonding, Healing Your Aloneness, The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids?, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Dr. Paul's books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into eleven languages. Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars since 1967. Margaret continues to work with individuals and couples throughout the world -- mostly on the phone. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Her current passion is working on and developing content for this Website, as well as distributing SelfQuest®, the software program that teaches Inner Bonding® and is donated to prisons and schools, as well as sold to the general public. Margaret is passionate about helping people rapidly heal the root cause of their pain and learn the path to joy and loving relationships. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride horses, and spend time with her grandchildren.