Courage

Walking across the street by the bus station early this morning, I was almost hit by a car. I was lost in my thoughts and the driver clearly wasn’t expecting to encounter a pedestrian at 6:30 in the morning. She swerved and braked at the last minute, my heart went from a fugue to a rhumba beat, and we managed to avoid a messy situation with ambulances and police and insurance claims and medical bills and me crying in public.

Anyway… that’s not what I meant to write about today. Last week, I wrote in my journal that I miss “the risk and vulnerability of being held in higher regard than I felt worthy of.” I’ve been brooding over that line for the past few days. This is where my courage fails. Not when I’m up in front of a yoga class teaching – I know that’s a challenge, so I steel myself up for it. Not over this past summer, when I climbed up a cliff with the intent to jump off it into the water, but chickened out instead – I realized I was just doing it to prove to myself that I could, and that just wasn’t a compelling reason. I lose my nerve at quieter moments than these; unfamiliar; interstitial. I look away when I should hold a gaze. I say something when I should be silent. I stop to reflect and figure it all out when it’s time to put thinking aside and act. And ultimately, I hesitate or walk away because I’m unsure. I lose things because contrary to popular belief, I’m pretty lousy at being calm and quiet when it matters most. I run away when I should take a deep breath and wait to see what happens next.

This video’s more or less irrelevant, but the song hits the nail on the head:

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