Courage: it would not exist without fear. As with so many things, the hardest lesson is to recognise that there is no beauty without pain, or no light without darkness.
I turn 30 today, and I’m looking down the next ten years with a sense of wonder and hope. The past ten years have been a voyage of discovery – a process of becoming and learning.
So much of what I’ve learnt has been tough and has needed more courage than I felt at times – but it has also been character forming. I’ve learnt to be more generous – with my time and my actions. That everyone is fighting a hard battle and to lift people up sometimes I have to be willing to be open. I’ve become, I hope, more empathetic and a better listener.
‘But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, “Courage, dear heart,” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s…’ – C.S. Lewis
At the same time, I know I also have another phase of my journey ahead of me. I still need to learn to listen to my intuition without doubting myself. I’m still learning what it means to use my time with more intention and to have a grounding that supports my writing. In many ways, I am still learning to look after myself – when to push myself and when to rein it in. I’m still on my quest for a deeper understanding of what it means to be human, how everything is connected in some way. I’m always interested in learning and seeking out new ideas. These are the things that I feel might characterise the next ten years – more seeking, more adventure – more wisdom.
It is how you approach the crises in your life – with courage, and a sense of learning from mistakes and difficulties – that helps us grow. Life is struggle. There is no ‘why me?’ – there is always ‘why not?’ – because, after all, the universe is vast and everyone has to struggle forwards at times. When you come out of that struggle, each time you are stronger, more capable of facing the next challenge. There will be many challenges to come, but I am ready to learn from them.
‘Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.’ – Iain Thomas.