I don’t think there’s a magical moment when you become one with courage. It comes over time, although sometimes a pivotal event triggers a crisis, and that crisis becomes your “dangerous opportunity” to step into courage.
“Tiger” was a game my dad played with us as children. It was an indoor game. He would drop down on his hands and knees, blindfolded, and for all intents and purposes, it was a game of hide and seek. We all had to play. It was a command performance. For us younger ones, it was great fun. We’d shriek as we raced by the blindfolded tiger – safe behind a chair, or table. I didn’t get it until later, that this game was a prelude to molestation, and the person who was ‘caught’ was his chosen prey.
When my children were little, we’d stopped by my parents’ house. I don’t remember if I went to the kitchen to get iced tea, water – something – but I walked back into the living room to see my father playing “Tiger” with my children.
An amazing thing happened to me. Memories flooded back, like an old movie reel off its track. Flashes of memory and insight were so profound I couldn’t speak. And, then, my mama bear instincts rose, huge and unrelenting.
“Get in the car,” I said to my bewildered children. “We won’t be staying for dinner,” I told my folks. My husband thought I was crazy.
That night I faced my past, to insure my children’s future. It was a pivotal moment. The following morning, I began the process of removing grandparents’ rights. But that one seminal moment did not constitute being “one with courage.” It is a gradual realization that determined, steadfast, eye-on-the-goal choices take you there.
I have been awed, and humbled, by the daily acts of courage women I know enact in protection of their children. They live courage every day. They navigate emotionally choppy waters within their family, friends, and community. They love and guide their children through the labyrinth of life. Because they do, their children will trust again. They’ll find laughter once more – in safety.
At one with courage. May you find yourself there.