When I think of courage, I think of letting go of anger. Ever since I can remember, I was filled with anger and hate towards the people who hurt me. If someone hurt me, I felt I had to hurt them too, just to get even. In an effort to deal with the intense feelings of dissatisfaction towards myself and others, I turned to drugs and made destructive choices.
About two years ago I finally realized, if I continued to hold hate in my heart I was going to fail everyone - most importantly, I was going to fail my kids and was on a path to destroying my life.
I decided to let go of fear and anger, and sought to replace it with courage. I had to teach myself not to let my past have a hold on me. It’s not something that is as easy as simply forgetting, but rather is an everyday statement I make to myself that I have to let go of my past mindset and let go of the people who told me I was worthless. With the courage I’ve learned from The Giving Keys community, I know I’m beating my old ways of thinking and my addiction.
I am still learning how to live courageously, and while I don’t always think I can do it, I think that’s part of the journey. When I get scared that this life is too good to be true, I have a tendency to want to sabotage myself and my dreams before I get hurt. But that doesn’t stop me from getting back up and pursuing my dreams again, stronger and harder the next time around.
When I think about the next steps after The Giving Keys, I feel a deep desire to build something fulfilling, more than just the next job. That’s when I decided to start my own cleaning business. I asked myself, “What can I do to pursue something better for my life? What can I build for me that I can be proud of?” It may be a small business today, but everyday I’m striving towards growing into a better tomorrow.
I describe courage as letting go of the people and the moments in the past that are holding you back. It’s knowing that I am not defined by my past, but rather am empowered by my present state of mind. To me, that’s courage.