Courage Over Comfort

He or she who chooses comfort over courage and facilitating real conversations in towns and cities and synagogues and areas who need it; when you choose your own comfort over trying to bring people together, and you’re a leader, either a civic leader or a faith leader, your days of relevance are numbered.

– Dr. Brene Brown

Brene Brown spoke these words a couple years ago during an OnBeing interview with Krista Tippett. Right now I see courage as a willingness to stay present in the midst of fear and uncertainty, taking action on behalf of others in an interconnected world. My discomfort is showing up this morning as irritation at the blatant disregard for science and what our science-minded leaders are saying.

This is a time for grief as well as a challenge to put the sophomoric need for comfort aside and actively step into the pain and wonder of growth. As the anxiety, fear, and discomfort rise we begin to see people reveal themselves – the beauty, the selflessness of so many as well as the selfishness and delusion in others.

How do we heal the plague of ignorance? 

What a strange species we are. So vulnerable, beautiful, and worthy of compassion and love. How does compassion show up when faced with greed and stupidity? With gentleness or forcefulness depending on the situation.

I read this morning of neighbors moving a tree into someone’s driveway to force someone into social distancing. That’s fierce compassion in my book – taking action to stop an unaware person from putting himself and others in danger.

Life unfolds every day as an up and down merry-go-round, and although it seems novel to us in this moment in history it’s always been this way–unrelenting peaks and valleys we unskillfully try to flatten and smooth over.

“Life is not meant to be flat!” my Tibetan teacher once said. Trying to make it so is where suffering begins. We must learn to ride these waves and accept them, becoming more skillful in the art of being human.

The one curve we can flatten is the corona curve. We do it by riding the waves of uncertainty and fear, for the benefit of “the others” because when the sun sets, it sets upon the entire world.

Wishing us all love, wisdom, and courage, 

Susan 

Photo Credits:  Simmering Sunset by Susan J. Preston, Santa Fe, NM © 2020, all rights reserved
Technical: Fuji XT-3 | XF100-400

 

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