Courage asks us to invite the most intoxicating emotions into the deepest crevices of our soul. Will you let fear in? Will you be vulnerable to uncertainty? Will you accept anger, despair, loneliness into your heart for just a moment but then let them go without knowing what comes next? 

What about joy, happiness, contentment? We yearn for these emotions to remain long past their intended time only to find how shallow and empty they feel.

Courage asks us to explore our inner emotional state with an intentional awareness. It challenges us to ask the question, the most important question, with an honesty that we seldom achieve. 

Are you brave enough to admit to yourself that you are afraid? That you are alone? That your happiness or joy will fade and that you are holding on to an illusion of permanence at the expense of honesty. 

Courage asks the simplest question – who are you?

And once you ask that question, once you recognize that, regardless of its answer’s uncertainty, by simply asking it, you have let courage in.

Courage questions our vulnerability of that which we fear the most. It challenges us to be comfortable letting uncertainty into our heart’s most intimate inner circle where we ourselves fear to go. 

Once we let courage explore that inner frontier of our psyche we are left forever changed. No longer do we feel the need to compare ourselves with some external measurement. Gone is the desire to strive toward an arbitrary standard of acceptance. 

Instead, we feel a moment of peace where clarity of purpose emerges like an oasis on the horizon of a desert landscape. Shimmering in the distance, we recognize the longing for the welcomed satisfaction of quenching a deep thirst. But, as soon as we feel that peace of the moment, we instantly become aware of its transient nature and are once again desperately afraid of what comes next. 

But courage has left its mark in our hearts and allows us the patience to once again sit with that fear. To let it ride in with our breath and, instead of taking over as it did before, to simply ride out on the back of our next exhalation. Courage leaves behind a sense of something else. Something curiously new. 

Instead of fear, anger, hatred, anxiety, or even joy filling that space with an intoxicatingly dangerous illusion of permanence, courage sustains us in that moment of doubt as we long for the certainty of the next emotion.

Courage will ask you to be patient. It will challenge you to be aware, moment by moment, of your intention. And as much as you may question whether you have that patience, I promise courage lies within all of us. 

The question you will have to ask is whether you are curious enough to let your courage emerge.

See you on the creek.

-Coach Jack