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Living Courageously

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

Life has no roadmap. Every child who is born, unfortunately comes with no instructional brochure. It is up to the individual, at their age of consciousness, to figure out how to make sense of their own existence. If you are fortunate enough to have been raised by both of your parents in socially accepted standards, then probably, you have a better chance in life. We think!

But again, what does it mean to have “a chance in life”? After almost forty years, I am, myself, still trying to decode the intricacies of my reality.

I do not recall choosing to be born; neither do I recall choosing my parents— nor the location of my birth. However, I am here. We are all here. Fortunately, or unfortunately—that’s up to us to determine. Our assignment, I suppose, is to create our own El Dorado: our earthly paradise.

We often hear parents say: “I want to give my children a better life; a life I’ve never had”—whatever “better” means. Meanwhile, the same parents haven’t even started living their own yet. So, what most of them might mean is that they don’t want their children to suffer or struggle. But, is a life without suffering or struggles possible in this world?

The story of life has assumed that we are supposed to have a safe and happy childhood, then a good education, a good job, the perfect husband, wonderful children, a beautiful home, more possessions, and exceptional grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Then, we can finally die peacefully in our sleep knowing that we have fairly bequeathed our inheritance to our loved ones. And this timeline is expected to unroll without any conflicts.

Loneliness is not supposed to find you.

Rejection is not supposed to find you.

Depression is not supposed to find you.

Sickness is not supposed to find you.

Jealousy is not supposed to find you.

Discrimination is not supposed to find you.

Hate is not supposed to find you.

Rape is not supposed to find you.

Abuse is not supposed to find you.

Accident is not supposed to find you.

Failure is not supposed to find you.

Homelessness is not supposed to find you.

Even death is not supposed to find you too early. And again, who defines what “too early” means?

Neither birth nor death ever asked for our vote. They come and go as they please and in a manner of their choice. And somehow, we have succeeded in imposing upon ourselves the obligation to fulfill such expectations without even knowing how much time we have.

Regardless, don’t troubles find us one way or another?! Books after books have been written to help us navigate through the dangerous waves of life. Yet none of them seem to have the exact answer on how to guarantee a good life without aches.

In fact, the essence of life is about aching. We must hustle to obtain whatever we want or need. A student may be a genius but it’s only after taking and passing her exams that she’s granted a degree. Everything has a price. And it takes courage to pay the price for your ideal life.

It takes courage to want to live again after losing a child.

It takes courage to find joy again after being raped.

It takes courage to forgive in the middle of pain.

It takes courage to fight for a life that none of us has chosen to live in.

We are here. Some of us are born in wealth and others in penury. Yet, we’ve all been given the same number of hours in a day to make the best journey possible for ourselves.

Living Courageously is to love again after a relationship literally maimed your face, and you finally got the grit to leave — alive.

Living Courageously is to start again after being abandoned for another.

Living Courageously is to believe again — to believe that your life is worth it — that you can change your world for lack thereof.

Living Courageously is to take risks, to fail, to get up, and to try again — to try again differently.

Living Courageously is to persevere.

Hope alone will never change the state of your life.

Hope simply comes to inspire you.

Hope enables you to stand up and do—to stand up and live—to stand up and rebuild.

What we see as roadblocks in our life are not our enemies. We are.

Lack can never stop you.

Loss of a job can never stop you.

Loss of a loved one can never stop you.

Divorce can never stop you.

Marriage can never stop you.

Motherhood can never stop you.

Singlehood can never stop you.

Your disability can never stop you.

Your gender can never stop you.

Your traditions can never stop you.

Your religion can never stop you.

Your race can never stop you.

Your citizenship can never stop you.

Your past failures can never stop you.

Even the devil knows he can never stop you.

What gives you the courage to live? What would you do if

that “thing” or that person was taken away? Nothing else should give you the courage to live but the Creator of Life Himself.

Everything we find on earth; we will either leave or they will leave us. Nothing belongs to us. We are temporary caretakers of our children. We are renting this terrestrial space we live in. We hold jobs and positions that have no eternal significance. Two hundred years from now, our mere existence will simply become a vapor of thought; and if we are brave enough, a Memorial Day. Our steps will disappear without a trace, even within our families. Empty we have come. Empty we will return. Living courageously is to know and accept this truth.

Although tomorrow is uncertain, living courageously is to live anyway.

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