Live, Learn, and Love
by Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.
Firefighters, police officers, and soldiers. Car racing, sky diving, mountain climbing. A stranger pulling someone from a burning car. What images come to mind when you hear the word, “courage”? Do you think of daily bravery, daring adventures, or spontaneous heroism? I do.
But, also I think of less conspicuous courage – the quiet kind that we each must muster many times every day. I speak, of course, of courage of the heart. It takes great courage to open your heart and let others see how you feel, what you value, and where you are headed. The
risks are not physical or the kind that would land you a spot on the evening news, but they are very real. The rewards of a brave heart do not include medals, applause, or citations. The biggest reward is being your true self.
To share how we feel means allowing a crack in the shell that protects us from emotional pain.
Perhaps we have done so before with untrustworthy people and now fear the danger of sharing too much with others. They might think less of us, take advantage of us, or push us away. And yet – if we are emotionally honest with trustworthy people – we actually encourage
opposite outcomes. Any acceptance we receive feels real (no wondering if they’d love you if they really knew you.) Trust builds with each sharing. And those who are best for us will never reject us for being true. Emotional honesty connects us to the rest of mankind.
Three things that might help you to connect with an open heart are: know your feelings, choose those with whom you share, and recognize the rewards of making such a leap.
To take a stand on things important to you means risking the wrath of those who do not share your view. People may scoff, bully you intellectually, or reject you socially. It is far more comfortable to go along with racist jokes, ignore political
inaccuracies, or never speak of children starving in third-world countries. Comfortable on the surface perhaps, but excruciating at your core. To act on your beliefs – while not judging others – may take courage, but not doing so, will break your heart…literally. Not
living from your own truth creates enormous stress which weakens the heart and many other parts of the body. To me, finding the courage to live by your values means facing your fears of the short-term consequences if you do…and the longer-term consequences if you
Everyone dreams, but not everyone shares their dreams. It takes courage to disclose what you wish for…to commit to pursuit of something you desire. We’re often afraid we’ll look foolish, publicly fail, or threaten those close to us. Yet if we don’t
disclose where we’re headed, how can others help? We deprive ourselves of a support system that we need to succeed. If you ask for what you want, you are much more likely to get it. By “asking” I don’t mean just asking someone for specific help, but “asking” the universe by
imagining, discussing, writing, and moving toward your dreams. Daring to wish for more, we increase our attention to all things related. Suddenly, when we focus on opening a design shop, for instance, we “see” florists for sale, designers about to retire, course offered, or
friends who share the dream. The trick for me, in finding the courage to “ask” for what I want is to shift my thoughts from “if” to “when.” Instead of thinking “if I get my column published in a few weeklies,” I shift to, “When I get my column in six weeklies, I’ll…” The
stepping-stone goal is specific and clear and gives me courage to share with others. Most of us don’t fear “when” we’ll reach a dream; it’s the “if” that strikes fear in our hearts.
© Copyright 2006 Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D. All rights
Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.,
is a life-balance expert, author, and national lecturer. Through her writing, coaching, and seminars, she helps individuals and work teams reach their full potential. With a personal mission to nurture growth, she supports practices that lead to energy, empowerment, and the realization of meaningful goals.
Suzanne’s books include Recharge in Minutes and Create A Life That Tickles Your Soul (Named “Outstanding
Book of the Year” and “Most Life-Changing” in the Independent Publisher Book Awards).
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