Find your courage

“I really like that tattoo of yours.  Does it mean something?”





I paused for a moment, mainly because I am not accustomed to anyone asking about it.  I was in the grocery store, checking out, and the cashier was asking me about it.  As many persons as I meet that comment on the beauty of it, rarely ask the meaning.  The rest of the pause was the deciding moment; what do I say?


So, the subject of courage. 


Do I just say, “It’s personal”?  Do I tell her the multitude of meanings it has for me?  I jump right in, because truth is truth, right?  I tell her that it is about love, and peace, and being proud to be a woman, and being proud to be gay.  And, she doesn’t flinch.  Not one bit.  She continues to comment on how great it is that I was able to design it. 



In that moment, and in so many moments of my everyday life, I teach myself about what courage is, and what it is not, at least from my life perspective.  Courage is not about life or death situations much of the time for me.  It is not about fighting a terrible foe and risking my life and limb.  Courage for me is not about jumping out of airplanes or racing cars. 


Courage is in the seemingly simpler tasks of life, that are often not so simple.  Like talking about who you are with pride and self love.  To fully love and appreciate oneself takes great courage.  To go to work and make a living, even if the work you do is just making a living and not a career, takes courage.  It takes courage to tell someone goodbye, and to tell someone hello.  It takes courage to speak up, and to stay silent.  It takes courage to tell your child that you love them, or to tell them that you expect more of them.  It takes great courage to believe in your own inner voice, the one that resides in your gut, and tells you the real truth about many situations.


We all have such capacity for great courage, yet we rarely acknowledge it in ourselves.  Only after this brief encounter with this beautifully friendly cashier, did I recognize to myself what great courage I have to just be who I am.  To feel confident and secure and contented in it.  To be able to declare it to the world, without boast or remorse, just because it is truth, and truth deserves to be spoken aloud.


Where in that self of yours do you find your courage?  Have you looked for it lately?  It is lurking, deep within, or more on the surface.  But it should be acknowledged, and treasured and revered, for it is what makes us human and alive.  And, it is about everything that we do and all that we are, and can take great pride and gratitude in. 


12 thoughts on “Find your courage

  1. Isn’t it interesting how courage often comes out when we are afraid. I think courage is being afraid and doing the thing anyway. I’m pretty sure great writers have expressed this in more eloquent and elegant ways. Reading your post made me realize that opening my business has been a courageous act. I know the things that kept me from doing it and in the end it was just that leap of faith, that small still voice that said, “just do it,” that willingness to try and fail that got me to open the doors.

    As always, thanks for making me think of my own courage as I read about and applaud yours!

  2. Raven: WELCOME!!! Thank you for your visit, and of course, you are so right…… I hope that you will come by again. Peace.

    Tiny: I am glad that you think of your own, as it should be. And, the way that you have also described it is perfect. Thank you for your presence, and presents, here. 🙂

  3. I find it unbelievable that you lacked courage, even for a brief moment. Not, you V… You’re by far one of the most courageous people I know. Your story reminds me that we all are human and we all at times have to conjure the courage that lies within or just on the surface. There is true bravery in speaking our truths…and so often we lack that courage. Thank you for en-couraging us to bring forth that courage V. Love ya! 🙂

  4. Hayden: I believe you are right; true courage is facing off against fear. How true.

    CordieB: Maybe it is less about lacking courage, and more about having the faith and will to call it up. There are moments in my life when speaking out truthfully about myself, vs. living my life in truth, seems like a gamble. Sometimes, just saying out loud, “I’m gay” seems awkward and attention seeking. However, I am looking at it now, everytime, as a teaching moment for those that I encounter. And, it helps me realize, any discomfort about me being every part of who I am, is about the other person, not me.

    I become more amazed every single day at how many chambers there can be in a closet of shame…… my dream will be to take that concept on the road; the many aspects of internalized shame in LGBT persons, for my purposes anyway. SHAME DESTROYS, LOVE HEALS……

  5. Helen: welcome to my world here! I appreciate your thoughts, and absolutely agree, that it helps us to strive onward and upward. To listen to that nagging voice of courage that we all possess, but might not realize. Thanks for visiting and hope you come by again soon!!! Vanessa

    amandzing: So right you are. Glad that you came by. 🙂

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