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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. Mark Twain

It takes courage to live a good life, a life that is true to yourself. I am not writing anything new. I didn’t expect to. We read to see ourselves and situations that make us go, yes, I’ve been there, I’ve thought that, I’m not alone.

It’s our turn to do what hordes before us have done. We don’t do anything new except use technology people didn’t have. The fundamentals are the same we are born, we live, we love, we reproduce, we raise our young, we die. If we do it well we live a full life filled with purpose, meaning, joy, wonder, creativity.

We want to be special and different, and we are different like snowflakes are different. Some people believe our lives are ordered by a greater power, dharma, luck, chance.

There is power in focusing our thoughts in prayer, mantras, gratitude. When we tap into the energy that runs the world for some that is God, for some it is unnamed, we tap into a source of power that can lift us up and help us deal with the dark times.

Nihlism is a word being bandied about to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realizing there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws. As I understand it nihilism relies on rage, intellectualization and depression to exist. How do we overcome it, or help others overcome it?

We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity. Barbara De Angelis

Every religion has found “the right path,” the one true path in their eyes. There is truth in every religion. I believe if you follow any religious text from any religion you would live a good life with meaning and purpose. Is each one a path leading to the same end? Does it matter which one we choose?

We are judged by our actions, not our words. A lot of us would rather be known by our words. Words are easy they come tripping off our tongue, blog, book, or podium. Our actions, now that’s tough. People can look at our life and see if our philosophy is working. Sometimes they only see the show we are putting on. Underneath the fancy clothes, big house, cars, education, is a seething mess of twisted thinking, stepping on other people to get ahead, broken relationships, bitterness and misery.

Our life is to sort out what we want, get the kinks out of our thinking, find a purpose, find a mate, raise happy, productive and positive children. Life is messy, sometimes we don’t take the straight path. Some lessons are hard won. We can’t know what someone else has to learn or where they are on the path of learning it.

It seems some people are born knowing the rules of living a good life. Their life unfolds as if they knew what they were doing. Maybe they do. Others live as if the twists and turns of fate are against them and difficulties lie at every turn. Why do some people appear to have life so easy and some have life so hard? Why do some people get addicted to alcohol and drugs? While other people can be recreational users?

Why are some people predators and some people prey?

We find our answers through our own and other people’s experiences.  Oral traditions have given way to written word, movies, documentaries and TV shows. Sifting through it all can be daunting. We never know who has learned the lesson we need to learn.

We sometimes think people should watch the shows we think worthwhile. Read the books that shaped our lives. Be part of the religion that shaped us. We are all on a journey. We find inspiration and meaning where we find it. Others need to find their own inspiration and meaning, learn their own lessons, walk their own path. We’d like to make it easy for them. In making it easy for them we rob them of their own experiences, their own triumphs, their own lessons.

It takes courage to live through the up and downs, twists and turns of life. Until we reach the end we don’t know if it will be bitter or sweet. If we will be bitter and broken or an example of a life well lived with courage and humor.

It can take more courage than we think we have to take the next step. We may need to forgive someone, we may need to forgive our self. Our life may need to be rebuilt. We may need to live with the emptiness that was filled by someone we loved. Life moves forward and we need to move forward with it. Deal with what is, whatever that may be. It takes courage, and if we dig deep we find it.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

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The Courage to Be Yourself: A Woman’s Guide to Emotional Strength and Self-Esteem Paperback – January 1, 2016


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