The bravest thing I’ve done is to take responsibility for my life: my thoughts and feelings, actions and behaviors, my pain, and my creations. This type of responsibility is like a subscription that renews. It’s not like you’re done with it. And it can propel you into another sphere altogether. Taking responsibility is plenty courageous. There’s a point of total breakdown, of annihilation. It’s a death for certain.

Then courage in the form of an honestly raw accounting of the mess you’re in. This is what I call the ‘blood and guts of healing.’ It need not stop there. In my case, and the possibility exists for everyone, taking responsibility for myself lead to something much scarier: embracing my true nature. It launched me into a quest, which wouldn’t have been possible without the ‘first’ courage.

One of the biggest things we run from is our true nature. After all drama is so much easier. You know it inside out, can give a command performance in your sleep, and really validate how miserable your life is like 2+2=4, no room for error. This is the persona I’ve donned, these are my poisons and you better get the hell outta my way! I’m running from my Self and even Olympic athletes don’t have the steroids I do.

I did that into my early-mid-thirties. Among many other things. It was hedonist, escapist, lustful, fun, utterly dysfunctional, I loved and wept and guffawed, opined, judged, raged, gave and stole, alienated and hurt people and myself, danced my tush off… and…

On the dawn after Hurricane Andrew had torn through South Florida, I became awakened. The proverbial light bulb. And that was still way back in the dark days, when the courage I knew I’d have to muster terrified me.

You have to be brave to have courage. Ironic isn’t it?

Folks, I’ve news for you. There’s so much unseen Grace. Divine intervention is waiting at the edges of your willingness, like a flickering candle about to drown in its own wax. Initially, it only takes your cupping the flame to steady it against the draft, to tease the wick out of the wax. That’s all. That moment of caring attention where you’re quiet and still enough, so that your true nature can finally enter, after its years of knocking and show you all your colors.

Then the journey begins of healing the wounds of the human, and even more fear-wrought, that foundation propelling you into Self.

Self can be described in many ways and it’s not so important to do that here. What’s important is that upping the ante is courage on an entirely different level. This is the courage to own that while you were broken, your spirit never was; while you believed you were flesh and bones, your soul smiled and winked; while you felt worthless, gold poured into your heart; while you felt unloved, you were cradled in patient compassion; while your mind was weak, your consciousness was fortified; while you were in darkness, the Light buoyed you; while you were lost, wisdom protected you.

I know this. As a child, even though my personality never took it seriously, even though it was by rote and I thought I didn’t know how to pray, my soul took over and prayed and prayed and prayed every time my house was filled with voices bellowed, things smashed, doors slammed, love crushed and laughter squelched. When later I consciously prayed my soul just beamed warmly.

In the physical world, you can’t ignore a wall. In the spiritual life, you can’t ignore Eternity. Eternity in this sense is the absence of time, not an endless span of time. Eternity is as real as the street you live on. Your street exists in Eternity. So there are two choices. Numb and run, and my god are there countless ways to do that! Consumerism is geared for that alone.

Or, allow the bravery of your true nature to infuse you and take the lead. This is going to require spiritual backbone, vigilance, recommitments, endurance, sourcing courage again and again, along with a host of other resources. But it then becomes a meritorious life. And simply happy and healthy.

That’s the one I chose, choose and re-choose.

I’ll end with a haiku of mine from way before my dawn, a kind of precursor:

hide and seeking
our souls
games people will play

© Pamir Kiciman 2007

Soul Bravery