True courage in the face of self-doubt

True courage is believing you can do something you’ve never done before.

I wrote that little nugget of wisdom when I was writing in my private journal about never having had a serious relationship before (I’m 28). It’s pretty easy to lose faith and doubt yourself when you continuously come up short when attempting something, whether a relationship or a marathon or a project at work.

In relationships, I’ve done nothing but fail. In running, I’ve had some successes, but many more failures.

I’ve been feeling pretty down about shit lately. My journal is a series of depressing entries in which I gently and not-so-gently, calmly and angrily try to lift myself out of a lonely void.

And then I wrote that line, when only a few days before, I had written how I doubted I could ever find that belief again. Quietly, it reminded me it’s still there. It was just buried under some bullshit, and now it’s simply a little dusty.

And then poet Jack Gilbert, in his infinite wisdom, reminded me of something important as I struggle to get back on my feet:

“We must admit there will be music despite everything.”

My soul will always find a way to rise despite everything. It may be broken and bruised after falling onto concrete. It may be unable to stand after that second DNF, after months of struggle. But my soul quietly heals as I do the work, as I chop the wood and carry the water, and then, one day, I realize it is soaring again. It’s wiser and stronger.

I can do things I have never done before.


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