Having the courage to surrender to the divine means having the strength and determination to let go of control and trust in a higher power or spiritual force. It involves being open to guidance and direction from a source beyond oneself and having the courage to follow that guidance, even if it may be difficult or uncomfortable.
That is all well and good until you find yourself flying through the air again, screaming nooooooooo. Not again, please, please, no more pain.
I had been in Spain for a short while after leaving a horrible relationship with a man living a double life. My life felt in tatters. And on more than one occasion, my dogs, having spotted something to chase, invariably pulled me over when my head was in the clouds.
I’d had x-rays that revealed no damage, but a few years on, I discovered that I had fractured a rib, which must have been when I had flu and then shingles. Thanks, immune system and stress…
Not knowing how much damage this was doing probably contributed to osteoporosis. Which is a silent disease, but you certainly know about it when your spine fractures.
Bizarrely although the last fly through the air was pretty nasty, I was grateful. I was in pain. However, it was a message to tell me to surrender to the divine. Now that was hard. I needed courage, but I was scared to stop. It was obvious I needed to stop because I wasn’t paying attention. And not paying attention hurt physically.
Surrender to what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. – Sonia Ricotti
I was in despair and didn’t feel I had a courage centre or any place to call upon. I felt at the mercy of some grotesque demon who hated me more than I hated myself.
What a catastrophe this life of mine was becoming. When people heard my story, they would say how brave I was. I wasn’t. To cover my shame at all that had happened, I’d put on my ‘oh well, that’s life face.’
I also reflected that there were far braver people than me. I did not live in a war-torn country; I had food, clean water, and no life-threatening illnesses to contend with. I felt blessed. This was the message I often repeated. Who was I to think that I had courage?
All I did was leave someone who was leading a double life. Yes, I left everything behind (again), moved to a new country and had to find new friends, a new way to run my business and a new way of living. Yes, there were challenges, and the challenges continued.
However, I was lucky, wasn’t I? This life was all part of a divine plan. The Universe had laid out the pathway to here long before. She created the conditions for relationships to end, enabling a house purchase, discoveries to be made and for me to find my way here. It was all pre-ordained. No bravery in pre-destiny. No bravery in starting again. All experiences in the life of Dale. But what stupidity to not even acknowledge that I was courageous and took brave acts.
What is courage?
Courage and bravery are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Courage is the ability to face our fears and challenges head-on to push through difficult situations. On the other hand, bravery is the act of doing something courageous. It is the physical manifestation of courage.
One of the main differences between courage and bravery is that courage is an internal state of being, whereas bravery is an external action. Courage is about having the strength to overcome obstacles and persevere, even when things get tough. On the other hand, bravery is about taking action, despite feeling scared or uncertain.
Though some might argue that some seemingly brave acts can look foolhardy. I know I shout at the screen often enough when someone marches off to do good, and I think they are nuts and certain death awaits!
Another difference is that courage is a journey, whereas bravery is a moment. Courage is something we can build and develop over time. I certainly feel that my confidence has grown the more I have acknowledged the courage and taken brave steps that I would never have done years ago.
Another aspect of courage is having the strength and resilience to face challenges, even when things seem impossible. It is about having faith in something greater than ourselves (whatever that means God, grace, angels, spirit or the Universe) and believing that we can overcome any obstacle that comes our way. Bravery, on the other hand, is more focused on physical action and overcoming fear.
Courage doesn’t mean that you must be fearless. It’s possible to be courageous despite being afraid. It means that you acknowledge your fear and work through it. It’s the ability to move forward despite fear and discomfort.
To be brave, we must first have courage. Without courage, we would be unable to take action and overcome our fears. Courage is the foundation of bravery.
It strikes me that this thing called courage comes in many sizes and shapes, from confronting Harry, the spider, to making a sacrifice to gain something important. Sacrifice in the sense that you are surrendering the old you, embracing your fear and uncertainty so that the new you can wake up, become aware and embrace being alive – truly alive.
And I bet you don’t feel very brave either. I didn’t, but I do humbly accept that I am now.
Your courage centre
I discovered my source of courage within my own heart. By connecting with my inner strength and resilience, I was able to overcome my fears and uncertainties. This connection brought me a sense of peace and inner guidance, empowering me to face any obstacles or challenges that came my way.
To reconnect with my inner courage, I had to put in the work. My heart, which I had previously closed off and wrapped in chains, was unbalanced and in disharmony. But it was a starting point. I had to let go, listen to my inner guidance, confront my fears, shift my perspective, and take control of my life. Through this process, I could open the gates to inner peace. Faith and trust in my inner wisdom made the path to inner peace smoother and more accessible.
Values and the heart
Values live in the heart centre because they are deeply ingrained in our emotional and intuitive selves. They reflect our innermost beliefs and desires, enabling us to connect with our values and align our actions with them.
Values are important for courage because they provide a sense of direction and purpose. When we are clear on our values, we have the strength and resilience to make decisions and take action confidently. When living in alignment with our values, we can tap into a deeper sense of self-love, self-worth and self-esteem, which empowers us to take bold and courageous action.
This also acts as a way to define our moral compass and do what is right. In the face of adversity, having a clear sense of values gives us the courage to stand up for what is right, even if it’s difficult. Which help us navigate life with purpose and integrity.
Doing this work helped when the proverbial hit the fan and my spine fractured. This is when I think a further shift in my identity started. To survive, I had to do what was right for me.
Opening the heart
I wanted to be that more courageous person who had complete faith because courageous people have a certain power and control over their destinies. They are present and accepting even when they don’t know what is around the corner.
I knew intellectually that people with an open heart centre know anything is possible. I felt that courageous people knew there is a deeper purpose for how their lives will unfold because of their connection with the divine. They share their inner beauty with the world because they believe many hearts can make a big difference. Through their very being, they demonstrate courage. I believe this is because they have opened their hearts to themselves and dare to show vulnerability and open up to others, no matter what comes back.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear — Nelson Mandela
This process of connecting and opening the heart can be difficult and uncomfortable. However, by doing this, one can access a deeper sense of love, compassion, and understanding that can bring a greater sense of inner peace and fulfilment.
For so long, I thought my heart was open, but I was pouring love into others, and I didn’t fully appreciate how closed my heart was. And there was the rub. I poured it out but didn’t let it in.
As I have said, opening and connecting with the heart is the way to connect with the divine. Far more comfortable than being forced to stop, wouldn’t you say?
If you don’t listen, you will be forced to surrender
Surrender is not weakness, it is the courage to let go of what we cannot control. – Unknown
With hindsight, I can see that being stopped with another fall was just a message. Look around you and be grateful that we care enough to want to make you surrender. Make me? I queried the empty sky. Why would the Universe want to make me surrender against my will? I hate being forced to do anything. Life continued to feel like a sick joke.
When you are forced to stop and surrender to a higher power, you will find more courage, faith and that magic ingredient, trust. Back then, I had to use courage to create change without realising that was what I was doing. Little did I know that I would need more courage to enable me to adapt and grow and as a way to prepare for the further uncertainty that would come my way. Finally, however, I knew I had to surrender.
With hindsight, I know that I have expanded and transformed in every challenge, and without a doubt, my courage and faith have grown. Just look, when I needed to leave that terrible relationship, although I didn’t know the outcome, I used my courage and took brave and confident steps towards a new future.
My final thoughts are that if I had listened sooner, I wouldn’t have been forced to surrender. However, any time is a good time to start.
Love Me Notes
I have added these in because they are wonderful in their simplicity. Every night, write yourself a Love Me note and stick it on the fridge or kettle. Then, every morning, you wake to a wonderful affirmation. Pop these into a Love Me note jar for when you need a pick me up.
Are you ready to connect with your heart? Tap into your heart and courage, and come with me on a 101-day journey to become who you want to be. By the end of the journey, you’ll be equipped with the tools and knowledge you need to unlock your courage and boost your confidence. Let’s get started!
PS: I’ll share more of how learning to love myself helped me when more stuff came to challenge me.