The Courage to Be-Lieve – by Patty C.

I am a consumer who has struggled with Bipolar Disorder most of my life. Thank you for the opportunity to open my heart and share some thoughts on courage with you.

Always strive to have courage to believe in yourself, because when you do you can do amazing things. This courage isn’t something you are born with, you have to earn it by asking God to give you the grace to do the impossible – however tiny or large this task seems to be. When we are in the middle of very distressing times, sometimes the noblest thing might be taking a walk around the block or even getting out of bed and taking a shower.

When things seem bleak, that is the time to remind yourself if those instances when it took great amounts of courage to get through past situations or circumstances. If your brain is foggy and your memory is playing tricks with you, then it takes courage to ask a friend or family member about some times when courage was displayed in the past. DO NOT listen to the voice of judgement, which sends you nothing but LIES, LIES AND MORE LIES. You will have to be still for a while, shed a few tears if need be then tell yourself you are going to take an honest look at yourself and jot those accomplishments down, as many as you think of and then share them with somebody besides yourself. When we share our past with others, we become courageous and vulnerable – we become more real, less perfect, and more human. And when we open our hearts to others, the greatest act of courage, we are on the road to healing.

We cannot heal on our own; it takes the greatest amount of courage to realize that. As Barbara Streisand put it, “People who need people are the luckiest people”. Don’t forget that. We cannot feel that we are worthwile and lovable until we have a connection with others. And sharing our feats and foibles with others will create strong and lasting bonds that can only strengthen with time.

Courage begins in the heart – you have to open up your heart to others – you never know, by doing so, you may think you are a burden to somebody, but in actuality, it may help them heal in some special way, too. For truly, the heart that feels is the heart that can heal. It works on a reciprocity process.

Dare to open yourself up. Dare to value and respect yourself. Dare to believe in yourself and all of the beautiful gifts that God has given you. When you open up your heart, you open your world. Courage is the cornerstone of all that is human and at the same time all that is Divine. Courage is the foundation of integrity, wisdom, joy, love, compassion, truth, and inspiration. Wouldn’t you agree that those are all qualities that can touch a life and a world in a very special and positive way?

Dare to risk. You will be on your way to a life of live, adventure, purpose, significance, freedom and joy. Wouldn’t you say that the payoff is worth it? Just give it a try. You CAN do it. There will always be someone to guide you along the way. Enjoy the journey – for truly there is a wonderful world out there! Love. Live. Laugh. Sign. Play and BE! Our world will be enriched because of you, beautiful you!