Courage

SAM_2532This little tree held on for who knows how many years, trying to grow up through the hedges.  It was spared the blade of the lawn mower but kept getting cut down with the bushes until we decided to let it grow.

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As I thought about courage, thunder started (early in the year, for goodness sake) and the dog began her thunder shake.  She gets scared down to her bones, although bad people and giant dogs don’t scare her.  I don’t actually know if she’s met any bad people, but she has charged and frightened more than one Newfoundland at the dog park, and though she’s big, she’s not that big.  I remember commenting about this to a friend and she said, “She knows what to do about people and dogs, but not thunder.”

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I’m full of fear right now, and courage means something like “the ability to do what frightens one.”  I have no choice but to live through my daughter’s adventure, and then on to my own long, long, long flights, long and far away trip.  I have a choice there, but I’ve always chosen to fly even though it frightens me.  So maybe I do have courage, but also lots of anxiety.  There’s no way to know how I’d be if I’d lived and not had the program.  I assume, based on my history, that I’d be a horrific mess who couldn’t raise someone as awesome as my daughter, or think about  traveling to Alaska.

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The “courage to change the things I can” of the Serenity Prayer means, to me, to change my mind.  I’m battling to have my rational mind understand that flight is safer than driving, that whatever the outcome for my daughter, my fear adds nothing to the situation but weakens me.  It takes some courage to stop drinking and to go along with a program like AA for a little while, until rewards start to happen.  To do what frightens one.

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