About Me

My photo
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Monday, July 29, 2013

C is for COURAGE


Life requires courage

I'm not talking about facing such disasters as earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, epidemics, and floods.  I'm not talking about the courage to board an airplane or a train or the courage to drive a car.  I'm not talking about the courage to fight off a stranger who is trying to abduct your child or rob you of your precious possessions.

I'm talking about the courage to face everyday life.  And in everyday life, one might need to face an abusive childhood or marriage, the death of a loved one, loss of job, or a serious illness.  I'm talking about the courage to tactically back away from a confrontation rather than to mindlessly attack. 

Courage is not the absence of fear; rather, it is the ability to move forward despite the fear.  Courage is the empowering experience of a decision to stand up and withstand the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." (from Shakespeare's Hamlet)

I've been told by a few people that I'm a courageous person.  Huh?  Upon contemplation, I realize that I have, indeed, confronted a great deal of hardship in my life, yet I persevere.  I have also been asked from where I get the courage to continue in my life with such an optimistic attitude.  Well, I guess I was just born that way.

What have I had to endure so far?  Hmmm...an abusive childhood, the loss of a child, the mental illness and subsequent suicide of my husband, a few serious medical situations that weren't life-threatening but pretty painful all the same, the diagnosis of my second daughter with Bipolar 2, and then just when things were looking really super, (reconnecting with my first love) he was diagnosed with cancer.  The first go-round almost destroyed us, but this time we're aware of the dangers of losing each other, so are working hard to get through this together.

Then again, I've been told I showed great courage in traveling on my own or with people I hadn't met before to foreign countries.  That surprised me - I mean I know I'm pretty smart as well as savy and would never take any chances.   And I've had so much fun doing it.  Here's me with a new friend in London. I went right up to him and said, "You're gorgeous!" And we went for a short walk.  (click to enlarge)

So, I'm not afraid of storms, flying, or criminals.  I've seen and experienced the worst and have survived!  No matter what life throws at me, I will stand up and move forward despite my fear.

I am woman!  Hear me roar!  "Oh yes, I am wise/But it's wisdom born of pain/Yes, I've paid the price/ But look how much I gained/If I have to, I can do anything/I am strong/I am invincible/I am woman" (Helen Reddy, 1975)

Here are a few quotes I found while researching the topic of courage:

You can gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along."  (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.  (John Wayne)

Courage is grace under pressure.  (Ernest Hemingway)

I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.  (Nelson Mandela)

Be assured I'm not looking for sympathy or pats on the back.  I just say it like it is.  If you are so inclined, perhaps you'd like to share an experience where you needed to be courageous in everyday or even in not so everyday life. 

Thanks to the captivating Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and to Roger who currently and very capably administers the weekly workings of the site. 

29 comments:

Black Jack's Carol said...

That huge smile of yours just keeps on ticking. Yup! Courage with a Capitol C!

Kay L. Davies said...

Love the quotations, and the photo of you holding hands with the statue!
K

Roger Owen Green said...

What puts the ape in ape-ri-cot? Courage.

Carver said...

Great post Leslie. The courage to face each day is so important.

Ann said...

Great post for courage--love the picture. I've found courage when I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something so foreign to me and overcome!! I'm sure you are gaining courage on your walk.
Ann

Reader Wil said...

You certainly are a courageous woman! I admire you. Thank you for this post.
Wil.

photowannabe said...

Love John Wayne's quote. That's pulling up your Big Girl panties and just going on. Sometimes that's all one can do is just keep on going.
Thanks for the great post today Leslie.
It's profound and I'm so glad you and Lorne are back together. That takes courage too.

MERYL JAFFE, PhD - parent, psychologist, teacher, author... said...

Great post and quotes. I think I like Mendela's the best how it is not fear but overcoming fear. Courage is so empowering and something I think we all need booster shots in every now and then. Thanks for this booster shot! have a great week.

Jesh St Germain said...

Way to go, Leslie!
Because I was so overprotected growing up, I made it a point to live/show 2 of my "kids" who are girls, that nothing holds you back when you are a girl. Now they have both grown up to be adventurous and feisty.

Leovi said...

Yes, courage is needed to face life!

Joy said...

Despite great troubles your optimism has survived as well as your courage.

Hildred said...

You have my admiration, Leslie, - as Roosevelt said "There is nothing to fear but fear itself", and that is our greatest challenge, which you have met and conquered many times, I'm sure.

Norma Ruttan said...

fabulous post about courage, Leslie! life can present us with the need for courage. I got a chuckle from your viewing your "friend" up close!

Marie said...

We all face trials and have triumphs in our lives. You have had a lion's share I think of the first, but have learned to face them with courage, and that is truly beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing this!

ChrisJ said...

I am a fighter for conscience and pretty feisty, but I do think courage requires a degree of wisdom to go with it. Sometimes you need courage to do nothing.

Nora at Island Rambles said...

This came at such a great and needed moment for me...I reread it over and over and feel stronger for it. Reading your blog for so long, seeing your smiling avatar, I never knew. It really shows you have courage to overcome.

magiceye said...

This indeed is a Courageous post! Way to go girl!!

lotusleaf said...

Great post. It touched something in me.

Gerald (SK14) said...

an encouraging post

Hazel Ceej said...

Wonderful! I needed this post. Thanks a lot. Maybe I should try that courage on traveling on my own instead of trying to drag friends along to countries I want to visit.

Hazel

MJ said...

Hello Leslie! Nice of you to find me! I am trying SO hard to reconnect with friends from the old days but finding them is hard work. I will be sure to bookmark you as well.. I am no longer working, disabled as my epilepsy is not controlled so I find myself dabbling a little bit more on the computer. ((hugs))♥
~MJ~

Nanka said...

Admiration for a courageous girl Leslie!! I know what it is like to live with a bipolar as my late husband too was afflicted by the same!! Great choice for C week and so much courage to endure!!

Carol said...

Life DOES take courage....this was a good post!

Liz said...

You most definitely are courageous, leslie! You've been through so much and yet can smile so openly and generously.

Hope things are progressing well with L.

Suzanne said...

Thanks Leslie for your post. Yes, courage....so important.

Meghana Hassan said...

Lot of Cs to add to the theme...

Martha said...

Can't help but think of the scripture where God told Joshua to be "strong and very courageous." He never asked us to walk through troubled times alone.

Lise said...

Thanks for the reminder of being courageous...and for the Helen Reddy song...I sing that song to/with my adult daughters every time moving forward with courage is needed!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hugely courageous Leslie ,, you certainly have been through so much , I would say strong :-)

Love the photo with you and your giant :-)

Sending hugs and a prayer for you and Lorne ..