Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Pressured Into Grace

1911 International Women's Day (1st celebrated)

Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway. John WayneUS movie actor & director (1907 - 1979)

The Duke was right on the mark with that statement, being courageous does not mean you are fright-free. Fearless humans act as if they were invincible, daring God, or man, or nature to disprove that point. A courageous human dares themselves to act in spite of their fear. Of the two I would much rather have courage, because the other seems so foolhardy.
Courage is facing the uncertain, because your soul demands it. Valor is going up against a giant with only a sling shot, a pebble and a prayer. It takes guts to face what must be gazed at through fear. The nerve used to step out on a limb, when every bush may conceal a lumberjack, comes from commitment to whatever cause sent you limb stepping in the first place. Ernest Hemingway called it, "GRACE UNDER PRESSURE".
Grace is very attractive in all its forms. Some people are born graceful, others have to practice endlessly to achieve even a faint semblance of true grace. I have learned a few valuable lessons about courage and grace along the way. The single most important one has been the fact that if you act bravely, especially when you are truly frightened, others see you as brave. And if you gaze into a face that reflects admiration back at you it is virtually impossible to lose heart. The act becomes fact at that magical moment.
A diamond is created from something ordinary by the use of intense pressure. Grace is acquired the same way. Let fear hold up your resolve. Allow yourself to believe what others already know about how much courage you possess. Face facts with a straight spine; alter issues with flair; view adversity as an opportunity to grow, it might not silence all fears, but it will make all your steps much more graceful.