What is courage? It is the ability to do something that's scares you; it is a trait that enables someone to face difficulty danger or pain. It is a mental or morale strength to persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.
What is courage in communication and in our relationships? Courage is the willingness to say and do things that may be difficult but are honest and need to be said or shared. It is the ability to look inside and see the areas of strength and challenge that we all face. The weaknesses or shortcoming we all have and own them and embrace them.
It is looking past the shortcomings of loved ones and seeing them in the struggle and supporting them through that. It is the honesty to day when we have been hurt or let down, the ability to say “No that is not ok with me.”
It is acknowledging our own shortcomings, failures, wins, strengths and lessons to be learned. It is seeing the journey, not just wanting to be at the destination.
Our relationships require great honesty and courageous communication to survive and grow. It is like the oxygen that keeps us alive. Without truth and honesty on communication and connection we can struggle to have real connections that can support us and thrive through adversity.
Many years ago I was going through a painful relationship breakdown and I was “protecting” my loved ones from my ‘Failures and shortcomings” I did not want them to worry.
I am not sure where this need to protect them came from; perhaps it was my own shame at failure on such a grand scale. No one asked me to protect them, it was very much a silent and unspoken decision on my part.
I was having some counseling at the time, thank goodness; it was one sane decision that I made. This wonderful honest woman challenged me with “Why was lying to my loved ones protecting them?”. She helped me to see that I was actually hurting them by holding back and “protecting” them from my truth, my reality. I was also hurting myself because my support system was not able to be there for me.
She said no relationship is real unless it is based in and on truth……..
Wow, that was like a slap across my face with a wet fish. Here I was feeling sacrificial, brave and strong. Protecting my family, when really I was actually doing the easy thing, not the right thing.
The Counselor asked me to put myself in my Mothers position and imagine how she would feel if she knew she had not been able to be there and support me because I was not being honest with her. She challenged me to consider how she might feel knowing that something was not quite right with me but worrying because I wasn’t being honest with her.
So the challenge was made, I was going to go and see my Mum and be honest with her. Now this was going to take some real Courage. I’ll share how this went next time in part two.
Until then Care Connect and be a Courageous Communicator. Let’s change the world for the better one conversation at a time.