the Basica

  I used to try to think fear was a choice, in spite of being plagued by it. Then I realized fear is pain, and pain is not always optional. Sometimes you simply have to live with it and cope as best you can.

  You have to walk into a situation you may not walk out of. Go anyway. This is courage.

  You've hit your limit and cannot go on. It's time to ask for help. Do it. This is also courage.

  Sometimes the limit you've hit is your pain tolerance. Then you suffer the additional pain of knowing this limit. Admit as much and deal accordingly. This is courage, too.

  Even in the everyday, it takes courage to move forward, yet again, into unrelenting circumstance.

  Fear is not learned. But a response to it can be: to hide it; to face it; to use it; to transcend it. However, of the few guarantees in life, consistency of the result is not one. And this is because we are all human, and human beings must contend with life as it comes, not as we think we would like it to be. Sometimes our own inner worlds refuse to cooperate with our ideals and our dreams. The challenge we rise to each day is not to become perfect, but to more perfectly enact both who we truly are and what we can truly become - with all our strengths and all our flaws, building upon what we've been given, guided by our ideals and dreams. To do this, we must thoughtfully consider how our moral failings are related to, and distinct from, the borders of our current knowledge and capabilities, while, with equal compassion, acknowledging that both are facts with which we must grapple, and both are ennobled by our struggle to accept, reinterpret, reshape, or overcome them.

  All of us have weaknesses enough to keep us busy far longer than we have to live. We may as well embrace this challenge.

  We would achieve our best if we did so caringly.

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