Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Courage - MARCHing To The STEPfamily TUNE - Part 4

COURAGE

I believe that “Fear” and “Courage” walk hand in hand, for without one, how can we experience the other?

I guess some bonus mums feel that their situation is hopeless and they wonder how on earth they will last the distance if things don’t change, even if just a little. This was also true for me. It took a while until I came to the realisation that I ‘used’ my marriage to a man with an ‘ex’ as an excuse for how I felt - ready to blame everyone and everything around me for my unhappiness. Initially I didn’t realise that it was me who had the greatest ability of all – an ability so powerful that I could change everything I had ever complained about. In order to do that, however, I first had to acknowledge that the ‘ex’ is never going to go away and – even more frustrating - that she will probably never accept the role I play in her children’s lives, let alone be appreciative for all I do for them. My expectations of what I wanted in return for my hard work were to say, the least, ridiculous and unobtainable. What was achievable, though, was my control over my own actions and reactions and the newly discovered ability to conquer what I feared most.

I remember my parents saying to me when I was young that it takes more courage to say ‘no’ than to say ‘yes’. How right they were. Looking back over the past 7 years I can honestly say that I’m really happy with the way my life has turned out and the direction it is taking. Of course there are still some external changes I’d love to make (moving to Iceland seems like a good idea!) but overall I’m pleased and proud to say that it has taken courage - lots of it - to reach this point. I believe that we far too often focus on what is considered to be our failings and neglect the positive and courageous decisions we make. The decision I’ve made is to no longer compromise my happiness for the sake of someone else’s demands. I believe that this decision is the only one that allows me to be truthful to myself. To achieve this there will, no doubt, be times when I need to say ‘no’ to what is being asked of me and that this will cause surprise. When it does I will remember the sayings below that can be found in a book called “Angelic Dreams” written by friends of mine.

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Don’t raise your eyebrows at the challenges that face you. Raise your spirit, recognising that you will conquer every single one of them.

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The most powerful weapon is honesty.

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Despair is a sign that you have given up on your goals - never give up on them, unless of course you have replaced them with greater ones.

Lessons learnt:

· Unless I first experience fear I’ll never know the powerful satisfaction of experiencing courage.

· Acceptance brings its own rewards.

· Although there are many things I cannot control, I have complete control over my actions and reactions.

· Difficulties that I don’t allow to break me will make me into a better, happier and more mature person in the long run.

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