I’ve been filling out the dreaded occupational therapy forms and came across the question what are my daughters strengths and the first thing that came to mind was courage, this reminded me that I had this still lurking in my draft box. My daughter has a neurological condition called gravitational insecurities, to explain it simply her inner ear picks up a wobbly environment, she has an excessive fear of movement. She’s scared to walk down the stairs, or up them. She’s scared of the swing, the slide, the climbing frame the round about…the park. She’s scared if the wind blows. This list is endless, life scares her.
My daughter asked me, do I think she could ever be a *dauntless. We had just watched Tris jump from a moving train. I am instantly reminded of the slow walk toward the train station a couple of years ago when she broke down in tears begging me too tell her how she would get off the train, I don’t know where she had got the idea from, but, she was under the impression that trains didn’t actually stop to let people off. So when she asked did I think she could be a member of dauntless I wrapped my arms around her and whispered in her ear, yes, I believed she already was a member of dauntless. You see some people look at her and they only see her fears. I look at her and I see her courage. Each day she wakes up and faces a world that fills her with dread and fear. Each day she faces the stairs. Each day she goes into a world full of noise and movement and she does it with a smile, a skip and a giggle. And each time the world knocks her down, she gets back up. She has more courage in her blood then most adults I know. To me she is the very definition of dauntless.
I often find myself asking what the hell is courage? Are the brave only the ones that climb mountains, swim with sharks and jump from planes? Because to me all three of these situations have everything to do with their minds processing their environment in a certain way and very little to do with courage. For me the brave person is the one that looks their fears straight in the eyes and then walks on through. Someone might be able to climb a mountain but they may not be able to tell another that they love them. Courage takes many, many forms not just the physical prowess of controlling the way our mind interprets its environment. The courageous speak up when others are too scared to, they walk into a world each day that they know will leave them battered and perhaps scarred, they do it anyway.
In life we are constantly faced with choices that create that feeling of fear inside of us and when this happens our bodies react the way it knows it needs to. Given the flight or fight option many of us choose the flight option. We choose not to communicate, we choose to let our fears stop us from expressing ourselves, we let the fear dictate our choices. Our bodies know exactly how to be courageous but our mind whispers that the risk is too high.
A brave person that is ready to face all that life gives them; from the dizzy heights of a mountain top, or the top step of a spiral staircase or the whispered admission of love, these people gather more memories, learn more lessons, connect deeper with their God than that person that opts only to climb the mountain that causes them little or no fear.
Karen Hayward ©2016
The faction dedicated to courage, bravery, toughness, and fearlessness. It was formed by those who blamed fear and cowardice as a cause of the problems society faced. It tries to fight cowardice by giving the advantage of preparation and the ability to act when facing a fear to its members.