With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.
~ Keshavan Nair
About 2 years ago, a friend and fellow minister posted a question on Facebook that was asked at a conference he attended:
What does it mean to be spiritually courageous?
I posted my own response, and I’ll share that with you in a bit, but like most good questions, there are multiple answers that fit. Each of us gets to decide what the words “spiritual/spiritually” and “courage/courageous” mean for us, and then we get to decide, based on our definitions, how we each will act on our belief in spiritual courage.
I confess that the past two years have been a whirlwind of emotions and upheaval. I’m one of the majority of people who voted for Hillary Clinton, and I’m one of the people who has been scared, confused, and angry at the behavior of not only the man who ostensibly garnered the requisite electoral votes to be POTUS but also of the people who continue to support his hateful and cruel language and policies. It has become an everyday occurrence to read or hear of a scandal, a furious tweet-storm, another lie, a further cruelty, and a collective hand-wringing with not much done to curtail his horrible policies and even more deplorable rhetoric.
Some days it has felt near-impossible to find my center, to descend into the peace that lives in the eye of the storm and breathe in the calm strength I know I possess.
And, yet, I have also experienced great joy in the same span of time. I married a strong, kind, loving, and beautiful woman a little over a year ago. Combining our respective homes into one has been a lesson in letting go in order to receive more, and we have met our challenges with grace and laughter (mostly).
My work as a self-employed minister and spiritual counselor has undergone some changes with the relocation, and I’m alternately enjoying this chance to reinvent myself and feeling anxious about reinventing myself.
So here’s what I wrote 2 years ago in response to my friend’s post: “What does it mean to be spiritually courageous?”
To be spiritually courageous is to speak my truth and stand in my integrity. And, some days that is encompassed simply by choosing to get out of bed and face the day. Spiritual courage is a moment-by-moment decision to live with the connection to Self, Others, and the Divine open and flowing.
Those are my words. That is my belief, my conviction, and my promise. Some days I can get out of bed, face the day, accept what comes, and focus on my breathing to help me stay present in each moment. Some days, I feel like I can take on the world, speak up for others as well as myself, follow through with plans, connect with others, champion causes, and kick ass and take names…and still have energy to make a delicious dinner.
We have come into this exquisite world to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light!
Each day, regardless of accomplishments that can be measured by outside observation, I can and do speak my truth: my longings, my fears, my hopes, my feelings, my plans. Each day, I stand in my integrity by keeping my promise to stay aware of my connection to the Divine, to my highest Self, and to other beings and flow with the Love I know we are.
What does it mean for you?