Courage, Dear Heart

I was just about to log off and crawl to bed when I saw, popping up among the random whatnots on my Facebook News Feed,  these three words:

courage dear heart

I did a double take, and stared at those three words for a time.

Those three words, they did more for me than had so many other long-winded passages and stories of motivation, inspiration, and perky positive psychology stuff.

Of late, I’ve been finding myself having to grapple with my own demons more frequently and more fiercely than ever. There are a lot of things I am afraid of in this life. Physical pain, mental anguish, perpetual social isolation, emotional trauma, spiritual darkness.  I see now that a lot of my struggles have been born out of my fears of these things, of the anticipation of their realization and of the worry that I am always going to be this afraid, no salvation, no true freedom.


People have remarked that I think and act more mature than my age, and that I seem like a very “together” person.  That’s not entirely untrue, because that is how I project myself to be. That is also how I try to be, from the inside, and sometimes I succeed. But not all the time. The truth is I am weaker than I let on, and I break down more than how much other people realize.


“The greatest battles of life are fought out daily in the silent chambers of the soul.” — David O. McKay


Seeing that these are at the core of my struggles—all these things that I fear—I now see what I lack and what I need, and that is courage.


Living takes courage.

Loving takes courage.

Pursuing passion takes courage.

Waiting takes courage.

Moving forward takes courage.


For all of these things, many times each of us will be called to stand alone. During those times, we cannot cower behind anybody else’s back. We cannot have someone else walk the path for us. We cannot tell life, or love, or our dreams, to come back later when we’re ready. “Life waits for no one” — this is true. Life is a flow we cannot stop even if we wanted to.


“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” — Robert Frost


There are times when I feel like I am just about to lose it. Times when I feel and feel too much. Times when I think and overthink the things I feel like the world is waiting for me to prove, the risks I have taken and yet to know whether they were worth it, the could’ves and would’ves I know I should really be letting go but keep rerunning in my head like an old movie reel on unending repeat.


In these times, from where do I draw courage, then?


I look in the mirror, straight at my eyes.


This I do, because every time I do so, I see the eyes of someone far different from the girl lying slumped, crying in a dark room. I see, looking back at me, a girl who has so much more to give, so many more visions to realize, so much heart to make a difference somehow, so many things she still wants to do in this lifetime. She knows she is capable, and that she can stand alone if she must. There may be tears brimming in her eyes, but the depths of those dark round pupils reveal a silent but unwavering conviction, a strength of spirit knowable only when you look long enough to see. She knows how to pick up the pieces, no matter how many times she breaks. She knows how to step up to the plate when life calls her to. She has strength, she has hope, she has courage. And she refuses to back down.


“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” — Ayn Rand


Courage, dear heart.

Courage to live,

          courage to love,

                        courage to act on your dreams,

courage to wait if you must,

                                            and always,


to keep moving forward. 

•  •

• About the Author 

17 thoughts on “Courage, Dear Heart

  1. Hello my friend! I know it’s been a very long while since I’ve stopped to say hello. I just wanted you to know that I read your post way back in March when you first published it and it’s been fresh in my mind ever since. Your beautiful words resonated with me then just like they do today.
    I’m also here for a very selfish reason. I’m writing a monthly series on Courage/Bravery for a blogger friend of mine. Would you mind if I quote some of your words and link back to your post so that the readers get the full flavor? No pressure, just let me know at your convenience. If you say “yes” the hardest part will be picking my favorite paragraph…I love them all and really try to live by the words you speak.
    You have a true talent and a kind heart 🙂


    • Hello Michelle, it’s always nice having you around here! I think it would be a real honor to be quoted by you. So for my response to your request, I’ll keep it short and simple: Take what you need! 😀

      Carla 🙂


      • Thank you, SO much Carla! I’ll let you know when the post goes up.
        Christie’s site at Running on Sober is a warm and welcoming community. I just know that they will appreciate your words and insight. I stumbled across Christy and her community several months back and have been overwhelmed by their acceptance and welcome. Her mission (while staying sober) is to help others get through what she has gone through and even though I have no experience with addiction, she’s opened her space to me and others to share and learn. I just know that your words will be a valuable contribution.
        Thank you again for letting me share your voice. I’ll be sure to link back and give you full credit. 🙂


  2. Pingback: Standing Together Like Tall Trees (The Braveheart Chronicles Vol. 3) | Running On Sober

  3. Thank you so much. This is exactly what I needed to see in this moment. I’m moved. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Truly resonated.


  4. Pingback: Courage, Dear Heart | word-spin

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