The Courage To Continue

Maybe sometimes you just have to be your own hero and say, _I can do this_

“Success is not final.  Failure is not fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts”  – Winston Churchill

This is so true.  You tell yourself a story within every challenge, that is partially a lie.  You tell yourself as soon as you climb this hill; as soon as you cross that river; as soon as you build a bridge across that ravine, then you will be wealthy, or famous, or a hero, whatever being a success means to you.  You will live happily ever after.

That isn’t completely true though is it?  Life will continue to give you more hills to climb. rivers to cross and bridges to build.  It is not just one success, instead “it’s a series of both successes and failures.

As a metaphor, you don’t transform from a caterpillar to a butterfly just once.  Each time it is time to grow, you again need to transform.

In order to transform you need to let go of some “truth” that you believe, some story that is part of who you are.  The reason you have to let go of it, is because it is not really 100% truth.  It is a mixture of truth and lies that you have told yourself in order to get through a previous transformation process.

Now it is time to clean up the debris from that transformation, time to recycle the old cocoon, and make space for the new one.

It is time to face the inner darkness, release the lies (aka “the Kraken”), and embrace a fuller truth.

With the situation in the world at this moment, you and I find ourselves in this space of growth and transformation once more.  The world is changing and the world we knew last year will not be the world we know in the coming months.

The entire world is wrestling with the darkness in regards the physical, mental and emotional health as well as the economic situation. The shadows are being revealed and contained within each shadow is a gem that you can release and learn from.

“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you’ll discover will be wonderful.  What you’ll discover is yourself”  – Alan Alda

There has been more than one time in my life when the shadows overtook my life.  One happened after my mother passed away.  There were secrets about her life that came out.

Secrets the depth of finding out that one of my sisters had a different father than we had been told all of our lives.  There were a series of truly devastating secrets that came out.

I found myself in more grief and anger about the lies, than I had suffered over her passing away from the cancer.  I was mad at her, mad at God, mad at everyone and everything.  I cleaned up the mess the best I could, and began the process of forgiveness and putting my life back together.

I told myself that why I forgave an unbearable hurt from the exposed lies of another living family member was from compassion.  But in reality this was only partially true.

I did forgive from that place, but a bigger piece of the truth was that I couldn’t face losing anything more, and it was easier to forgive than it was to permanently end that relationship.

“Fearlessness may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage . . . , that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one’s actions”  –  Aung San Suu Kyi

Now when it feels like this darkness is coming up for me around fears of what is happening in the world, I am so grateful and thankful that I had the wisdom to surround myself with strong courageous wise women.

You can gather together with members of your soul tribe, and remind each other of the truths that you already know.  The truth is that you have many choices.

Sometimes you can fall into the trap of thinking that you have this choice or that choice on how to proceed.  You might find that you do that to yourself a lot.  A black or white choice, always looking at only the either this or that.

The truth is it isn’t simply black or white – you have the whole color spectrum.  You just don’t see it because of your limited thinking – the blinders that you have on.

You might be thinking that you can’t continue to grow and transform, dragging this weight behind you.  Yet as the same time you want to avoid the hurt that will happen if you leave the baggage behind you.

The truth might be that you don’t like either of those choices and want different ones.  The truth is that you have a large number of choices, and you should be asking yourself, “and what else is possible?”

Good friends can help you light the candle of courage.  They can help you to hold it up high to shine the light all around. While they can’t and shouldn’t make your decisions, they can hold the space protectively around you while you make your own choices. 

The truth is that these wonderful women will support whatever choice you make, as being the best choice that can be made at this time.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be”  –  Douglas Adams

There is a story which really fits the challenges you face in your life, every time you reach a moment of transformation.  In the Bio-Dome experiment they planted trees.  At first they were really excited because the trees were growing so fast and seemed so healthy.

Then something happened when the trees reached a certain height.  They would topple over and die.  Without the wind blowing against the trees, the roots did not grow big enough and deep enough to handle the weight of the tree as it grew.

Maybe you have wished in the past that you had been raised as the  “silver spoon” baby with every need met and no trouble in your life.  You imagine the perfect family, with the perfect life.

Such a life would actually be harmful to you, because there would be no transformation.  No growing from life’s experiences.  No strength and no courage.

“May the stars carry your sadness away, May the flowers fill your heart with beauty, May hope forever wipe away your tears, and, above all, May silence make you strong”  – Chief Dan George

It is time to let go of what was, and create the future you desire. It is time to release the night of darkness and welcome a bright morning sunrise.

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.