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Courage and Fear

Digital art by Elizabeth Munroz
So often over the years, people who learned about my original bone cancer diagnosis and subsequent recurrences over eleven years, would say how courageous I was. I would deny that I was courageous at all, thereby, denying their opinion of me. (almost like calling them a liar or fool)

It wasn't until one very old man told me that there were just two people in the world who he admired more than any others because of the courage they had due to succeeding to live a life with suffering and not taking everybody down because of it.

The first person he admired for his courage was his own father who had been crushed between two cars of a train and carried to the station where a doctor sawed off his leg (it was the early 1900's. Thats how they did things way back then). This man lived out his total of 86 years with, at first, a very heavy wooden for forty years. Then he had a surgery to correct the first botched one, and a new artificial leg was provided. This man worked a job until the day he died. This man was his own father.

The second person was me. This little old man, age 90, was my own father who told me this a few months before he died. I cried to know my father had kept those secret thoughts about me for so long, but terribly grateful he told me.

Sometimes I wanted to die, sometimes I thought I would go crazy, but I'm still here, so maybe that did take courage to get through it all.

I have learned that courage is in the eye of the beholder, and you never know who admires your courage sometimes. Even though I did not (do not) feel courageous, when others say they admire my courage, I now let them say it and I say thank you, reminding myself that there must be something I do or did that deserved that badge of courage.

It was not easy in my own eyes to think of myself as courageous, but now I can finally see it. I hope others who are told they are courageous will too.

Try to realize that you can be afraid or feeling down and still have a courageous spirit. If life gives us a precarious path to follow and there is no getting off the path, all we can do is keep going even with the fear. That takes courage.

What I try to do is put one foot ahead of the other and keep going. As they say, the only way to out of fear is through it.
Check out the link below to learn more about overcoming fear.