The Heart as the seat of feelings is the root etymology of the word Courage. That is to have a deep feeling that moves us to protect someone or something. Who or what the someone or something is sometimes conditioned into us by others and may be based in fear or greed. However, the desire to protect can be based in the love of people, animals, the land, or the desire for freedom of thought, feeling, and bodily integrity. Courage also means embracing my fears, my hurts, my anger and resentments, as well as desires for love, comfort, adventure, beauty, forgiveness, and protection!
Growing up socially awkward and neurodivergent, feeling full of shame, guilt, and feelings of inadequacy, topped with extreme fear of dying and going to hell, it was difficult to feel or listen to my own heart! Yet, little by little, I found the courage to do so! Reading, poetry, music, altering my senses, being in nature, supportive intimate relationships, and experiences of the transcending mystery and wonder, lessened the fear, guilt, anger, and shame! These experiences grew my heart and opened me to experience the greater heart of the inner connected web of existence!
We also need courage as we deal with our everyday life. Distraction, anxiety, prejudices, perfectionism, over-scheduling, addictions, and animosity can knock us out of our heart space. It takes the focus of curiosity, courage, and compassion to allow us to take some breaths, and to literally feel what is going on inside us. Our lives can leak out in banality if we don’t notice them! Let’s let our hearts fill us up instead! What is helping us find our own heart and the courage to be, to do, and to feel?