Updated: May 19
Lately I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of courage it takes every day for some people to simply continue to do their everyday life. We all know the heroes who walk among us, like that neighbor who serves our country, or your friend who just left on a “Doctors without Borders” tour. These people are truly remarkable. And we see news stories of a really brave five year-old who called 911 to save her Dad's life. But for some reason these do not overwhelm me.
At one point I even began to question if I was broken. Was I losing my compassion? I used to see stories like this and think, “Wow, that guy is so amazing!” And marvel at how courageous some people could be. I used to watch the people they were helping and send a silent prayer, hoping their pain wouldn’t last. So once I found myself feeling “less” I began to listen more. Was I becoming desensitized from watching too many news stories that I had lost my ability to feel anything for anyone going through something difficult? Did I need help?
This year has been a journey in discovering true courage. For some this means the courage to walk out the door in the morning knowing they’re emotionally and physically drained; for some it’s the courage to hit “send” on an email that’s been on their mind for a very long time, knowing anxiety will take over once they do; for some it’s the courage to leave a job they hate because they feel trapped; and for others it’s the courage to get out of bed because the blanket of depression seems far too heavy to pull back.
These everyday heroes walk among us wearing a smile. They are perfectly put together on the outside, live in nice houses, have well-mannered children and talk about God like He’s been their friend for years. Yet often these same people are fractured on the inside. They know something isn’t right, but they’ve been told nothing is wrong. So often feeling hopeless, they continue on life’s carousel, spinning through their days and “making it work.”
Talking with these courageous people who face what often feels like the impossible on a daily, or sometimes hourly basis, is a real gift. I am reminded that we are perfectly imperfect and frighteningly courageous. As humans we are able to do just about anything we put our minds to. Some of us just need a little more help than others. Often times we have the courage – we just need a little help with the tools.
Life has a way of piling things up like an overloaded laundry basket sometimes. If we don’t stop to take care of the laundry, things will just keep coming and coming. If you feel like yours is getting to heavy and the courage to keep you going is dwindling, you’re not alone. For many people the hardest part is reaching out for help – this seems to take the most courage. Remember, you’re always one decision away from a totally different life.