Courage and Spirituality

“Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior.” ~Carl von Clausewitz

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”― Coco Chanel

I am a very strong person. I have a tough skin. I have a strong personality. But my strongest quality–is that I am real. What you see is what you get. I don’t sugar coat my feelings or thoughts. I don’t believe in being phony. I don’t believe in accommodating who I am just to appease another. I speak up when I see something wrong. When I feel like something is wrong….even if I know that what I am saying will make enemies and I will ultimately lose friends.

I believe in the power of struggle. I feel that we grow through experience–and live through our choices–good or bad. Yes, sometimes we fall so hard that it seems like we are drowning and will never breathe again. But this is what gives us the scars of the spiritual warrior. It’s what makes us stronger.

There are moments where I feel like this world is becoming one where people are relying on each other for the wrong reasons. Giving to people in need is one thing: a persons loses their house to fire, a person is seriously ill and insurance has stopped covering them, a person with a disability who can’t work needs a little extra help, a homeless shelter, a woman’s shelter, a trustworthy charity. I think those are the people/places who really need us to combine efforts and help.

I do not believe that we should live in a “give me give me” society.  I feel personally that this world is becoming a place where people just feel that they are obligated to get things from others because of their choices–OR, because they feel they are privileged/popular enough that others should pay for their personal endeavors.

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I don’t believe one person should work harder so another person can work less. Especially in the case of doing or getting something you need/want on your own. I believe in working hard to do what you need to do to survive. Even IF this means living on very little.  We all struggle. But I feel at the end of the day–if you work hard to do what you to-send that energy out in the Universe-you will survive. Everything you want will come into fruition–even if it take a really long time or you need to struggle. If you have a dream of doing something big and amazing–and work hard to obtain that–it will happen.

My grandmother is 87 years old. She is the MOST influential person in my life. She is my inspiration. One of the two most important people in my life (the other being my amazing partner). She was forced into a German work camp in WWII at the age of 14. At 18, still living in the newly liberated camp, she met and married my grandfather and had my aunt. A year later–with NOTHING but the clothes on their backs–they boarded a ship to America. They left a world where they struggled to survive and then came to a foreign country with no family and few friends. They had nothing. They did not speak English. They had no money. And yet…..they thrived. They never asked for anything from anyone. They worked hard.  The moved to Boston, got steady jobs, learned English, saved enough money to buy a house and a car (though my grandmother took public transportation — and still does!) and eventually raised four children–without asking for anything. I get that tenacity from my grandmother. No matter how low I have gotten–even if they meant living off of $10 a week….I made it. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I got a job bringing home a measly $100/week-and yet still managed to pay my tuition, rent, bills, and buy basic necessities. I graduated as a Medical Assistant, Now I have an amazing job and an amazing life and I did it with a lot of sweat and tears and ramen noodles.  I currently applying to go back to college in the fall, where at the age of 32, I can finally obtain my dream of becoming a veterinarian.

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Does this mean I am not spiritual or lack spiritual insight and compassion? No. It just means that my values maybe a bit different from another persons. We live a world of shadows. People are afraid now to say how they feel. Being spiritual does not mean sacrificing your values or personal beliefs in fear of judgment from others.  We are allowed to still speak about what we feel and think. It doesn’t mean you are “less” spiritual–less of a healer–less of a human–because you feel the need to address something that is constantly pushing your personal values over the edge.

I fear nothing. And I will never apologize for stating my beliefs or values, even if it’s at the cost of losing friends and making enemies.

I know in the end…whatever it is I need to face-I can and I will.

Part of being a spiritual person is having courage.

And as my favorite wizard Dumbledore said, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” 

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