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The courage to change

Welcome back to another work week, and happy Tuesday to you. A week ago, I wrote about the Serenity Prayer and looked at the first third of it: the serenity to accept the things we cannot change.

It seems fitting that on Memorial Day, we inquire about the second third of the prayer: the courage to change the things we can, because so often we associate courage with military valor and speak, rightfully of the courage required to soldier. But, of course, courage can come in so many guises. And, one person's courageous act may be just the ordinary course of events in another person's day. Courage really is subjective, as well as situational, regardless of what we think we observe.

What comes to mind for you? Is courage speaking up when you object? Is it the five-year-old that lets go of her parent's hand and walks into school by herself? Is courage physically inserting your body in front of a loved one to save them from harm? Maybe it's saying no when you really want to say no. Or saying yes when you really want to. Or saying I love you because you know that's what you feel. Courage might be walking outside of your house into the world. It might be a decision to quit smoking, lose weight or change a behavior. Opportunities for courageous acts abound for all of us, all the time.

"The courage to change the things I can" implies an attempt, a decision. You have looked realistically at a situation and determined that in some fashion, you have the ability to change it. Before now, you may not have thought so or believed it possible. But something has shifted. Your attention is focused now. And, while you understand that challenges lie ahead, your mind is made up. "Try" is not applicable. You have committed and you now fully believe -- you know -- that you can change this. That is your courage. It is defined by you, for you. It is purely subjective and it is true when it arises. No one can take your courage or define your courage. Because you know that you are about to make a change in your life.

I wish you a week of truthful, courageous changes that no one but you has to validate.

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