Call it Courage : Personal Evolution through Courage and Letting Go

By Jeri Noble

Just what does a call to courage have to do with personal evolution, you may ask. We are told that letting go of fear will contribute to our spirituality, to our sanity will expand our consciousness, and improve our way of life. This makes a lot of sense because fear tends to hold us back, filters our perceptions to inaccuracy and defeats our personal faith. Sometimes though, the effort to let go of fear just isn't enough. That is a somewhat passive activity, wherein we let go of our grasp. Asserting our courage is different. This is movement forward, active and vigorous. Even if we are simply "holding firm" we are generating a certain energy, and are not allowing ourselves to be motivated by external forces.

Just as fear has both an inner and an outer expression, so does courage. The standards of either of these are dependent on the individual, though the environment may see it differently. For example, the tight-rope walker may see his activity as just his daily job, but feel that he's taking a terrible risk by asking an attractive woman on a date. The environment will likely judge the fear and courage in these situations very differently than he would.

What counts of course, is our own perception. Fear and courage are subjective experiences, though our world may watch and form its own interpretation.

Choosing to be brave, to implement our natural courage, is necessary if we want to advance spiritually. There are many risks along the path, including, but not limited to, being socially ostracized, experiencing foreign states of consciousness and having difficulty functioning in the "real" world. There are continuous questions of personal ethics and integrity, wherein one must choose the best answer and not the easiest or most expected one. Any of these situations can call upon one's reserves of courage, and will in fact, halt further progress until these reserves are drawn upon.

There are those who choose to escalate their personal evolution, by deliberately bringing up such issues instead of waiting for them to appear on the path. Such individuals will seek out areas of fear within their own psyche and confront them. Sometimes, exercises to "let go of fear" are effective in such cases, but frequently more is needed. When the "more" is required, we may have to stalk the fear, discover exactly what it is made of, ignore its threatening manner and render it impotent.

This has the effect of knocking out both the original fear plus an entire area of psychic disturbance around it. This can consist of negative self-esteem from having been cowed by the fear in the past, or avoidance of areas of thought which were previously considered "taboo". Perhaps most importantly however, it prepares one for their next spiritual step.

Once we have conquered a fear, we will open up an area of consciousness which had previously been blocked. Some ways of doing this are:

View the fear as a thing, an object like a cube that is simply in your way. Kick it around, note how inflexible it is.

Assume that the fear is based on a false assumption. That's right, just assume it. You don't have to under- stand why or how at the beginning, just start looking for evidence of its lack of validity.

Know that the fear is smaller than you are. Know that it is lying, being hallucinatory when it pretends to be bigger.

There are those who say that courage is simply a decision. We can decide to end the fear. Call it courage!