“The ‘me’ that was ‘me’, lay in fragments on the floor. So, I colored them one by one, outwardly revealing my brighter inner core”
“It takes courage to be yourself, when you’ve lost yourself.” This is the sentence I spoke to my coach this morning. The words described my struggle generating courage in the recent past, to be my true self with others, when I truly felt lost. Stress had overcome me. A paler, fragile version of myself, was boiling on the inside.
Where had my courage gone, and why was I lost? In fact, I had chosen to reject my own courage to be myself, for the sake of commitment, and ultimately lost the ‘me’ that was. While red flags waved, I rejected the warning signs and the swift burning decline of a relationship. I entered the partnership as myself, with deep intentions to grow together, but was unwilling to face the reality of the dysfunctional pairing of two people.
I created the false illusion that forgiveness would fix things. With optimistic intent, I thought this was enough to create change in the relationship. It became my new definition of courage to ‘see things through’. Surely, this would piece together my emotional fragments. Forgiveness, as it turned out, was ill achieved, and the only courage I had was to voice my anger in response to betrayal. My voice thundered loudly about what I ‘wouldn’t stand for’ which was in alignment with my values. But, my action to stay physically committed, despite recurring episodes of broken trust, spoke otherwise. I had no courage, as I agreed to roll along with no direction.
The Ending of The Relationship
He left, and my final piece crumbled. Using my imagination, I envisioned how I would bring color back to my life. I imagined my emotional fragments as one day coming together to create a kaleidoscopic canvas, revealing a new ‘me’. To bring forth courage, I needed to shed my adopted definition, which was to ‘roll along with no direction’. I chose to embrace my vulnerability, and create a stronger version of myself. I imagined each loving person in my life as a paintbrush, coloring each fragment; co-creators in my inner work of art.
Last week, after a year of painting a new life, came the unveiling of my true self. My interaction with others was a revealing measurement of the work I had done. My voice and actions aligned with my values, and my presence was fixed with the courage to ‘be me’. I was colorful, alive, and grounded in confidence. I had direction, and was no longer lost.
It took courage to be myself when I was lost, and with it I found forgiveness.
What have you done in your own life to bring forth courage to be yourself? Was there ever a time you rejected your own courage? Please share!