For the past several years I have chosen a word of the year as my theme for growth. If you are not familiar with this process I would encourage you to read a post I wrote on the benefits it can bring to your life. The amazing part of this process is how a word of the year becomes transversal to all the areas of our life and helps you remain focused in the new year.
For 2023 my word of the year is courage. This is a word that I believe I’ve been walking towards; a character trait that is important in every area of my life and one that I need to continue to hone on.
What is courage?
The dictionary describes courage as “the ability to do something that frightens you; the strength you find in yourself when faced with pain or grief.” In many ways courage is that humble confidence that allows us to stand strong for what we believe. Not boastful or arrogant. Often quiet and meek. Controlled and determined.
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point“C. S. Lewis
We need more courage in the world and I need more courage in my life.
Why is courage such an important word for me?
In my life I’ve often found myself seeing the good in the people around me, and I’ve always enjoyed encouraging others. I remember as a kid trying to lift others up even if sometimes those same people would push me down. This led me to experience much pain through my youthful naivety which ultimately kept this desire silent. But this urge, this gift, would show itself. Over the years, whether at home or at work, in the neighborhood or at church, the desire to stand strong with someone and see them succeed just made me smile.
This leaning to encourage others can be seen as an altruistic approach to life. But that is not true. In many ways I encourage others because I too want to experience it in my life. But that is what courage offers: the opportunity to stand strong when faced with disappointment. Even if I don’t experience it myself that is no reason to not be true to myself and who I am as an encourager.
As it’s defined, encouragement is “the action of giving someone support, confidence and hope.” In many ways courage unleashes the freedom to be encouraging. I want that in my life. To use this gift fully.
“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”Maya Angelou
What do you need to be courageous about this new year?