I’ve been thinking a lot this week, of course, about courage… Who hasn’t?
With events in our country this wild week, one is reminded that feeling and being courageous is how we are each called to face every day; we just never know when it might be our turn to inspire others with our response.
Perhaps some of us are quietly aware of it as we struggle with starting over or starting anew, while for others being caught in the middle of tragic and unexpected events such as West, Texas, Boston, and innumerable others that didn’t make the world news reports, awakens us to the acts and feelings of courage summoned by the unknowns of each day of our lives.
Long before and long after Julie Andrews swept across the wide-screen and into mainstream America bearing Oscar Hammerstein II’s reminder of self-enlightenment —
“I must be the thing I am seeking;
I am seeking the courage I lack”
— we have been reminded of the high-wire relationship between Being and Feeling when admitting there is something we lack.
Whether courage, generosity, abundance, resilience and resource, we are told acting the part and/or feeling the part helps us to Be that which we feel we lack.
Yet acts and feelings are two different things, and that’s what I’ve been thinking about, as there seems to be a third requirement that is this high-wire between authentically acting and deeply feeling to make the desire a real experience. There seems to be a Something that is at the root, ties feeling and being together, and makes both possible and palpable.
We can act —I don’t mean ‘pretend’ of course, but take action — with courage and not necessarily feel it. We saw that in those who showed up and dealt with this week’s tragedies and we will continue to see it in those who face life-changing alterations in family, body and experience as they struggle to feel it within them in the many coming days.
We can feel courage inside, but it doesn’t always show up in our actions, and yet that can be a noble thing too: Summoning the feeling of courage is how many many of God’s Creation get through each day and it may not be demonstrated externally but is internally in our souls, where it starts like a flicker of light. That’s the courage of healing, meeting challenge and difficulty. That’s the courage of starting over and it starts as a feeling before the action or the experience of ‘being courageous’ is necessarily demonstrated.
Yes, we can Be the thing we are seeking that we feel we lack, and it’s clear with courage.
But is there a third element behind being/feeling courage?
Where does that inner strength flow from?
When asked why they run toward the bomb, toward the fire, toward the danger, these brave souls often respond: I did so without thinking; I wanted to be of help (service).
Ah, courage comes, countering instinct to get to safety even, from a faith that one perhaps can be of service, and that one can be and feel greater than one ‘normally’ feels.
Feeling and Being with Faith that one can Be greater in the face of lack or danger — that’s the third element.
How about with other daily required feelings to make tough times transform into living with joy?
Obviously we can feel generous and not be it, even as we seek to experience generosity in our lives. Feeling generous can inspire an action of merely a smile or holding a door, or perhaps just holding a generous place inside when one would rather be irritable at the person holding court in a.m. staff meeting.
Can we be generous and not feel it? Yes, especially if our acts of generosity are expressed without thinking to a world that feels often filled with unthinking cohorts, like the person texting while the light turns green in traffic in front of you.
To be generous without ‘feeling’ it, at its best, can mean to give freely — whether of soul or resources — without counting.
That means without thinking about what you get, without perhaps even feeling that moment of self-pat on the back. It means being a giver, whether of smiles or nods or tangible substance. Being generous; feeling generous; round and round it can go.
Is there a third feeling behind it? An internal resource required that connects being and feeling generous?
I’d say awareness or connection, something we act with, on, or in spite of. Awareness that we move and flow as if in a tide on this earth, all in the same invisible sea of Creation.
For those of us starting over or starting anew, we all know that ‘feeling abundant’ is supposed to grease the wheels toward not having to scramble for change in the bottom of the closet, so your child has lunch-money again today.
We are told over and over that to Be Abundant in this world one must Feel Abundant.
That’s hard when one is scratching in the dark emptiness of that purse, closet, bank account or hiding place for one’s soul when facing dark times or starting-over times after pink slips from job, career, college or marriage. Yet we are told to Be the thing we are Seeking . . . we must be the thing we lack, and in this case, it’s tangible. How can one Be Abundance when one is lacking it?
When starting over or starting out in life, can one feel abundant and not be so?
Yes, if one looks to the abundance of nature, or to the sky and the abundance of space or stars, or to the abundances of education, or to the magnificent resources of the world others experience — and if they can do it surely I can — until empty pocket time comes again. And then it’s a challenge of discipline to feel abundant and not experience it. It’s possible, it requires faith and awareness, courage and generosity with self and with others, and gratitude for what one does have: Life, perhaps health, the sun and the moon. Feeling abundant without experience of it is indeed a spiritual discipline.
Can one Be abundant without feeling it? Obviously, as people all around are ‘being’ amazingly abundant, especially here in the US and don’t necessarily feel it. And especially those who will never feel that there is enough in the account regardless of the millions in abundance s/he might have in an account … but the question was Be Abundant, not be ‘wealthy’ or be ‘rich’ without feeling it.
Nope, the question of abundance seems more about that third element, the one behind the feeling or being the sought-after quality or experience when one feels ‘lack’. It’s not just about feeling gratitude or being grateful, though that’s where it starts.
It’s about Worth.
Feeling like you have some.
About Being and Feeling enough from the inside.
Feeling and acting Worth-y of abundance, whether looking at it from the feeling or being side.
Can one feel abundant if one does not feel to have worth inside oneself?
Can one be abundant, experience it and not lack, without being ‘worthy’ in one’s self-estimation — perhaps due to that nagging tiny voice inside that claims, usually without our outer awareness, that one is not ‘worthy’ of all that joy, love, connection, acceptance and care that comes packaged with having Worth and thus experiencing Abundance?
Feeling and knowing one has Worth — Faith that one is Worthy of love, care, and sustenance — is the third element to feeling/being Abundant.
“I must be the thing I am seeking;
I am seeking the ___________ I lack.”
If one puts Worth in there, rather than Abundance, one has a way to Be and to Feel Abundant right… this… very… moment….
And then we have it all: Faith, Awareness, Worth, Being of Service to something Greater
Whether facing a new day, new territory, and challenging times,
with these above inner connections to Something Greater
flowing through our selves and in the Universe,
we can feel and be On Task and On Purpose: abundant, generous, courageous.
From the book Here You Begin:
These Actions help me to Feel I have Worth and Abundance —to give —in my Time Here:
With gratitude to all those who were and are abundantly and generously courageous today, tomorrow, and always.