Sunday, April 6, 2014

Courage/Fear


I woke up on the first day of 2013 knowing it was the year I was leaving my marriage. And even though I didn't know what that meant, what form it would take, how I'd get from where I was to where I needed to be, I knew I had to find a way. And I knew I'd have to draw on my courage to get me there.

The word 'courage' was one I clung to. Whether or not I actually had any of the stuff, and whatever the hell I was going to do with it if I could find some, seemed almost irrelevant. I just kept invoking the actual word. When I needed to make difficult phone calls, or have difficult conversations, or even think difficult thoughts, if I started to get muddied down in fear or denial or resistance, I'd remember that word 'courage' and I'd be able to go through with whatever it was that needed doing. What is it they say about courage not being the absence of fear, but rather action in the face of fear? I'm not sure. I do know I was bloody terrified. 

Last week I came across a Brene Brown quote that caught my eye. In it she defines courage as: 
1) Asking for what you need 
2) Speaking your truth
3) Owning your story
4) Setting boundaries
5) Reaching out for support.

Is that courage? I'm not sure. But I know that all of those things are incredibly important for an authentic life, and they're all things I'd like to master. I'm useless at number 1, but these days much, much better at number 4. Numbers 2 and 3 fill me with equal parts terror and exhilaration and I wonder if they might just be the meaning of and solution to everything. 

Speaking your truth. Owning your story. 

A few weeks ago, Jodi interviewed me for the Heart to Heart series over at Wholehearted. The chat (via Facebook) was delightful and easy and entirely enjoyable. But then the fear about it being out in the world set in. It's one thing to want to speak your truth, another to do it in earshot of other human beings.

On Friday, when the interview appeared on the site, I was overwhelmed with the response. Such beautiful, loving, generous, supportive comments and emails and messages, from people who've known me my whole life, people who only know me via my blog and also complete strangers (who know a bit more about me now).

Number 5 - reaching out for support. I can honestly say, during this tumultuous past year, I've not needed to reach out. In my beautiful family, in this little village community, amongst my dear friends across the country, and here in this incredible online world, it feels as though the support has come to me. How lucky am I. And thank you so, so much from the bottom of my heart.


13 comments:

  1. What you've done is important, Greer. It will create possibilities for your girls that they will dream about daily. x

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  2. Greer, as your girls grow up in such an environment as you are making for them, they will begin to understand your courage and to know what it has done for them. A bit at a time, line upon line, precept upon precept to use a quote. As for you, you have faced those beginnings and endings with courage. Remember that always and be encouraged by it. There will be difficult times I'm sure, but if you have come so far, you can face other things too.

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  3. You're an inspiration, Greer. A beautifully written, honest post. I hope we can sort that coffee and pastry catch up in person sometime soon! X

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  4. Greer, I have been admiring you from afar! Living back in Orange I often run into friends of ours from school, and of course, we share stories of "where are they now?" I love reading your beautifully written words. None more so than this post, you truly are an inspiration and deserve all the happiness in the world! xx

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  5. This is courage, lovely Greer. You are courageous.
    Love and light
    Sar xx

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  6. Can't even imagine your last 4 months, but you've done step by step done so much and you will step by step do so much more. You ARE courage Greer x

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  7. I loved reading your story about your house and what sort of a life you want your kids to grow up in. Ending a marriage is no easy feat given that it's the only chance for the whole family to be together so you have to give it all you've got but when the decision is made that it's better to be out of it, than in it, it's just as tough having to make such huge life changing and worrying decisions. I have been there and done that and the only thing I could do was "wake up that day and get through that day". I couldn't focus on next week, next month, next year, I could just get up that day and do the best I could with a 2 year old and a 4 year old and things were bad before the 2 year old was born so there's usually a lot of pain and suffering until things are declared the end. I love the lemon tree in your new old house and get some chickens and your veggie garden and your kids will love it. As long as they have love in that house the renovating can come later. All the best. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia
    www.oursimpleandmeaningfullife.blogspot.com

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  8. You're doing an amazing job Greer. I have always admired your strength and courage and now, I think you're beginning to see those qualities in yourself. Your girls are thriving and as cheeky as always. Love you lots, xx briony

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  9. I read that interview, and it showed so much courage. As do your words here. I'm still working out that courage/fear combo, kinda comforting to know I'm not the only one xx

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  10. Catchy up here. Loved the interview Greer. I hope you are feeling even more settled with each day in your new home x

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  11. Wow Greer, I stopped by to catch up and found you in a whole new world. What an amazing woman you are. Would love to catch up for coffee & knitting when you have a free moment. Fiona xx

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  12. Hi Greer. Just popping over to catch up after reading your interview. Your strength and authentic words are so inspiring. I hope things just keep on getting better for you. xx

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  13. Ah... I can relate with some of those points.

    Going through lifechanging moments, either by choice or not, is always scary ...
    And I'm having that scary moment now. A man that left me, the dream of a baby had to be left behind, and I'm taking my teen and will be moving across the Country in just a short time. Scary, but also in some way beautiful. It will be a new start, a start I'm looking forward to.

    Loving your blog btw
    xx

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