The combination of distant rumbling thunder and a revving Harley Davidson motorcycle awakened me about 1:00 early this morning. It took half-an-hour to re-establish sleep because of worry over predicted severe weather. NOAA had been predicting a spate of thunderstorms with the probability that some of them would be severe and contain 70-miles-an-hour winds.
The concern centers around a couple of old elm trees with large branches that overhang the house. The prior owner, my former landlord, kept procrastinating about tree trimming and removal. He ended up not taking care of them. Now that I own the house, I’m waiting for the tree service to trim or remove those old elms. 70-miles-an-hour winds on large leafy branches could break the limbs and possibly cause them to puncture my roof. Such damage would effectively ruin the house and make it uninhabitable. That is an unhappy scenario for this recent homeowner.
The thunder subsided, I took a few deep breaths, told myself “Courage Hoss”. I reminded myself the situation is completely out of my control. Eventually sleep washed over me again.
The phrase “Courage Hoss”, was a favorite expression of my old friend and former coworker Don. I wrote about him earlier this year. Don used the phrase as a form of encouragement to anyone who was troubled or was facing a crisis. He meant it very sincerely, and often backed it up with further emotional and sometimes material support. I heard him say “Courage Hoss” so often that it became imprinted in my brain. Although he passed away many years ago, Don’s phrase is a gift that keeps on giving.
Regardless as to how determined and upbeat we may normally be, we’ve had to face challenges and some type of adversity. There might be a friend like Don, a family member, or a therapist who has offered and given support. Absent any of those people we’ve sometimes had to muster up some self-actualization through self-awareness to meet some serious challenges. At those times, we become our own cheerleaders in order to remain focused on working through solutions.
We must be our own advocates. There are times when we must own our inner strength and present ourselves to the world. These times call for strength and boldness. In the process of offering our unique gifts to others we shine our inner light brightly. These are the times to stand up, speak up, and allow your assertiveness to guide you. The act of following through, also instills self-confidence and inspires others to achieve what they want.
There is another type of situation that may present itself. That is the mental exercise of getting acquainted with our darker sides. This isn’t necessarily referring to a harmful or evil trait. The darker side might well be a secret aspect that you keep hidden from others and often deny, yourself. You might need an extra boost to encourage yourself to contemplate a secret passion, or something dodgy from your past. It might be a suppressed personality trait that you’ve been reluctant to share with a trusted, close friend or family member.
Of course, it is wise not to over-share with strangers and casual acquaintances. Unless the darker aspect is evil or negative, we shouldn’t put ourselves down when the darker side is expressed more openly. It’s healthy to occasionally share your shadow side with friends and allies. Doing so brings about depth and richness that helps us connect with others on a profound level. Some of us require more encouragement than others do.
Basically, if we are lacking confidence, we can nudge ourselves to manifest attention and energy on our sense of resilience. We can reclaim power that we have handed over to others by giving too much credibility to their judgments of us. It’s time to rediscover inner talents and strengths. It’s time for honesty and courage in our self-expression. Especially if we’re marching to a different drummer. After all, what would our lives be like if we didn’t have courage to attempt challenges?
If you’re going through a rough spell or just need a little bit of encouragement, you’re free to borrow the phrase “Courage Hoss”. I’m sure Don wouldn’t mind.