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.  We tell ourselves a story within every challenge, that is a lie.  We tell ourselves as soon as we climb this hill; as soon as we cross that river; as soon as we build a bridge across that ravine, then we will be wealthy, famous, a hero, whatever being a success means to us.  But life will continue to give us more hills to climb. rivers to cross and bridges to build.  It is not just one success, it is a series of both successes and failures. 

As a metaphor, we don’t transform from a caterpillar to a butterfly just once.  Each time it is time to grow, we again need to transform.  In order to transform we need to let go of some “truth” that we believe, some story that is part of who we are.  The reason we have to let go of it, is because it is not really 100% truth.  It is a mixture of truth and lies that we told ourselves in order to get through a previous transformation process.  Now it is time to clean up the debris from that transformation, and make space for the new one.  It is time to face the inner darkness, release the lies (release the Kraken), and embrace a fuller truth.

In the darkness I found the courage to light the candle that guided my way.  In the darkness I found that silence leads to inner peace.  In the darkness, I found myself.

  – Notes from Nora

I find myself in this space of growth and transformation once more.  I have been wrestling with the darkness. The shadows within have finally revealed a gem that I can release and learn from – that I haven’t been entirely honest with myself about some decisions that I made in my past. 

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

After my mother passed away, there were secrets about  her life that came out.  Secrets about one of my sisters having 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. 

Let go of who you think you need to be and just be who you actually are.

  – Unknown

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 this darkness is coming up for me.  I am so grateful and thankful that I had the wisdom to surround myself with strong courageous wise women.  They have spent the past few days reminding me of the truths that I already know.  The truth is that I now have many choices, whereas I was thinking that I had this choice or that choice on how to proceed.  We do that to ourselves 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 – we have the whole color spectrum, we just don’t see it because of our limited thinking – the blinders that we have on.

The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.

  –  Jordan Belfort

I was thinking that I couldn’t continue to grow and transform, dragging this weight behind me.  I don’t want to create the hurt that will happen if I leave the baggage behind me.  The truth is that I don’t like either of those choices and I want different ones.  The truth this that I have a large number of choices, and I should be asking myself, “and what else is possible?”  The truth is that good friends helped me light the candle of courage, and they are helping me to hold it up high to shine the light all around.  While they can’t and shouldn’t make my decisions, they can hold the space protectively around me while I make my own choices.  The truth is that these wonderful women will support whatever choice I 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

I heard a story recently which really fits the challenges we face in our lives, every time we reach a moment of transformation.  In the Bio-Dome 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.  We would all love to be the  “silver spoon” babies with every need met and no trouble in our lives.  We imagine the perfect family, with the perfect life.  But such a life would actually be harmful to us, 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 I desire. It is time to release the night of darkness and welcome a bright morning sunrise. 

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

  – E.E. Cumings

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 LemonadeMakers.org, 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.

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