True Courage

We’re taught not to run away from things. We associate cowardice with quitting. But I’m coming to believe that the greatest courage is refusing to stay in circumstances that cause pain and sorrow. How is it virtuous to remain in a place, a job, a situation that damages us? I posit that it is NOT.

This post was sparked by a fellow member, who’s in a job that is ruinous for her heart and soul, but her heart’s cry resonates with my own about my current residence. I’ve lived in Salem for 10 years since Lee’s death. I’ve learned to accept – to barely note – the pain of daily walking the streets with his ghost. But Bryan comments what a changed person I am when I’m in Portland (or most anywhere but Salem.) He says I’m happier, more relaxed, like a weight is lifted from me. Yeah. A 285 lb. weight, to be precise.

Running away” isn’t always deserting. Sometimes it’s choosing another path, with wisdom. What isn’t wisdom is staying in places, jobs, or relationships that make us miserable. And sometimes we have to take a leap of faith, leaving the ‘security’ of damaging circumstances before the healthier option appears.

7 thoughts on “True Courage”

  1. I want you to live your life happily, to your fullest potential, where you can feel and home and at ease.

    Even more than I want you in Salem.

    This much **with thumb and index finger a mere fraction of an inch apart**

    (And it’s killing me to give it even that wide of a measure).

  2. I hear what you are saying but I don’t know if I agree with it all. In my opinion you are correct that it isn’t virtues or noble to stay in a situation that damages you, that it does take courage to move forward. I believe though that not all painful situations are bad for you, they can teach us things that lead to growth and are important in our lives. You say running away isn’t wrong but the phrase running away to me, brings to mind retreat, going backwards, hiding. To me living is about moving forward not backwards. Whereas the situations you mentioned bring to mind moving forward beyond our comfort zones (and yes our comfort zones can be one of pain, we can become very comfortable with he pain and even be addicted to it) into new territory and growth, a leap of faith even. I think what you are talking about is Trailblazing not running away. It seems to me that its important to ask ourselves, are we running way from a situation because we don’t want to deal or grow beyond it (in that case we are probably going to end up in the same situation again because we are going backwards) or are we moving forward beyond the shadow of a bad situation so that we can grow in the light of a new future. – Ryan T /l\

    1. One last thought. Yes the light of the new day can be scary, but i think that is where real courage comes from. Being afraid but doing it anyway.

  3. You understood my meaning completely, Ryan. In our society, we tend to view ‘moving on’ as ‘running away’, and think it’s virtuous to stolidly remain in damaging circumstances. Chin up, and all that rot. Often, though,what is required is the courage to move away from the current circumstance, without any new place/partner/job to leap ‘to’. When we exhibit both faith and protectiveness toward our own selves, the new miracle can unfold.

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