Thursday, July 10, 2014

David Whyte: "To Be Courageous is to Stay Close to the Way We Are Made"

Courage is a word that tempts us to think outwardly, to run bravely against opposing fire, to do something under besieging circumstance, and perhaps, above all, to be seen to do it in public, to show courage; to be celebrated in story, rewarded with medals, given the accolade. [Yet] to look at its linguistic origins is to look in a more interior direction and toward its original template, the old Norman French Coeur, or heart.

Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work, a future. To be courageous, is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences. To be courageous is to seat our feelings deeply in the body and in the world: to live up to and into the necessities of relationships that often already exist, with things we find we already care deeply about: with a person, a future, a possibility in society, or with an unknown that begs us on and always has begged us on. Whether we stay or whether we go – to be courageous is to stay close to the way we are made.

– David Whyte
Excerpted from "Courage," in the forthcoming book of essays entitled
Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
LGBT Catholics Celebrate "Being Wonderfully Made"
The Challenge to Become Ourselves
The Many Forms of Courage (Part I)
The Many Forms of Courage (Part II)
The Many Forms of Courage (Part III)
Love as Exploring Vulnerability
The Gifts of Homosexuality
The Many Manifestations of God's Loving Embrace

Image: "Good Morning" (artist unknown).

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