I read this article once, and then again. The second time, I shared it out on Twitter. My IFTTT routines kick my tweets to my Evernote journal. I saw that note this morning, and read it again. This article by Ken Chitwood really resonates with me – perhaps because it takes deep courage to raise kids, especially children with special needs.

A few excerpts:

“When most people think of courage, they think of bravery, fearlessness, or feats of super-heroic valor. And yet, despite what we think or imagine, courage is not about being impervious to fear, pain, or struggle. Instead, courage is something that emerges out of fear, pain, and struggle.

In fact, courage cannot exist without adversity.”

“What we see in these moments is courage. True courage. Courage forged in fear, built after burnout, and worked out in the wilderness of anxiety, pain, and loss…

All of these difficult life experiences and tragedies threaten the very integrity of ourselves, our beings, our souls. At critical crossroads in our lives, we feel the weight of the world crushing in on us and we face a choice: to pick ourselves up and carry on in courage, or turn in on ourselves and shrivel up into the dust, disappointment, and despair.

Instead of trying to avoid anxiety or sidestep struggle, we should embrace these moments in our lives as opportunities for courage to be developed, practiced, and put to use.

Reflecting on the idea of courage, Paul Tillich wrote that true courage is not something that removes or rejects anxiety, but engages it and takes it into itself. Basically, Tillich argued, courage is embracing fear — not avoiding it, ignoring it, or pretending it doesn’t exist.”

“When faced with the great challenges of life, we will need to pull on reservoirs of courage, miracles of audacity that emerge from our past experiences where fear has been transformed into faith, loathing into love, and hardship into hope.”

The entire article is published on THRED and excerpted on Ken’s blog