Excerpt from BeingTribal
By Rena Stefani
Courage can be small yet powerful. A dear friend of mine who I mentioned earlier, was in her last year of Cancer treatment. She had been very open about her terminal diagnosis and we were talking one day about courage. I had mentioned to her earlier that week that she was so courageous. Later, we were talking over a cup of tea she brought it up again and said, “do you know what courage looks like?” I was caught off guard by her question and I gave her some basic answer about not being afraid and she told me I was wrong.
She recalled sitting in the oncologist’s office, getting her latest diagnosis and learning that her cancer was spreading faster than they thought. She said a Social Worker came in to meet with her and said, “with your prognosis, (repeating) with your limited prognosis.” and my friend Julie stopped her and said… “don’t say that to me. My prognosis is what I make it. Every day, I get up and I move forward. I get up and I move forward and I determine what my day is going to be like and what I’m going to do in that day.”
Now, remember what you learned in Common Ground, Julie explained to me that it is the same as someone who is dealing with a challenging situation, whether a difficult divorce, overwhelming debt or other situation where you feel frozen by the stress. You either make the decision to hide from reality or your make the decision to move forward, one step at a time.
“If you can’t fly, then run,
if you can’t run, then walk,
if you can’t walk, then crawl,
but whatever you do,
you have to keep moving forward.”
– Martin Luther King
It’s our determination, our will to move forward that will get us to the next day. This is also true when we feel we are too lost to find out way home…have faith in yourself. You do have the courage inside you to get up and move forward, to get up and move forward, to get UP AND MOVE FORWARD.
That is truly courage; recognizing you don’t feel strong and still you are going to move forward anyway. You make the decision that you are not going to let your circumstances/ego/self-doubt weigh you down and stop you from living.
The true reason for Julie’s determination was a decision she made when she was diagnosed with cancer. She decided to make a difference every day by doing something kind. She decided to change a life, to smile at someone who needed it and most importantly to take care of herself and lift herself up.
If you want to be inspired, inspire others. Inspire someone else and in that energy of making someone else’s life better, you inspire yourself!!
My grandfather used to say, “You raise your community like you raise your family. You love them, care for them, nurture them and your investment of time and love will pay you back tenfold, by the amazing community it creates.”
In the end…isn’t love and wisdom exactly what we are truly meant give to each other? Give love to our fellow man and pass on our wisdom to our family, our community and our world?
Even if the outcome isn’t what you painted in your mind…you still touched and transformed a lifetime of lives. I hope you are beginning to see that BeingTribal is also about Finding Your Path of Greatness, it is not about how big or grand your deeds are.
So make the decision to get out of bed, know you are not alone and begin to move forward. Be courageous!