Many of my posts emphasize the need for courage to grow as a person: courage to communicate directly with your mate; courage to acknowledge your weaknesses; courage to experience emotions you are afraid of… But I think I have a better word: Valor.
We all have a sense of what valor means. For me, it brings up an image of a firefighter rushing into a burning building to save a child – doing what he knows is right, regardless of the consequences. It is an image of someone with tremendous strength – not by virtue of skills and muscles, but from rightness of purpose. Merriam-Webster.com gives the following definition:
Valor: Strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness: personal bravery
Valor is a courage from the deepest part of us. It does not come from reason alone or what someone else tells us to do. It is a courage that comes from that part of us that is constant – from that part of us that knows who we are and stands for something that can’t be denied. Tapping into this part of us can be a source of immense strength, wisdom, and growth.
We all have that strong core, but are we acquainted with it? Do we tap into it? Do we trust it enough to rely on it? Are we afraid that we might mess up our dysfunctional lives if we start standing for something? Think about these questions for a moment.
Step 1: Get (re)acquainted
As a first step to getting acquainted or re-acquainted with that strong core, discover the answers to these questions inside of you:
What do I value most in this life?
Who am I, in my best self?
Resist the temptation to decide the answers to these questions. The answers should come from your gut – not your brain. Take as long as you need to. The answers will come.
Rose Rigole is a psychotherapist in private practice in Costa Mesa and Los Angeles, California, and is currently accepting new clients. She can be reached by telephone at (424) 571-2273, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via her website at http://www.counselingsocal.com.