(little) acts of courage

Grand Central, Horizon Perfekt, Kodak Portra 400 35mm film

I've been just hanging on over here, processing some deep things and feeling really quiet on the surface.  Feeling often pretty down, if I'm honest.  But today I tried a new exercise. What would happen, I wondered, if I acknowledged the little acts of courage I'm undertaking lately?  Would it console me about not feeling up for anything big at the moment?  Would it lift my spirits?

Yes.  Yes, it did. 

Here's my list.

(little) acts of courage:

  • Showing up on stage when you'd rather be under the covers.
  • Writing one page of a project that makes it hard for you to breathe.
  • Getting out of bed in the morning and picking up a pen.
  • Knowing people are leaving, but loving them with your whole heart anyway.
  • Asking someone else to make your sandwich when you're wilting.
  • Calling your friends before your words come back.
  • Letting yourself be seen when you're irritable and unsocial.
  • Telling your story when your heart is still living inside of it.
  • Giving your most honest response, even when it means accidentally exclaiming, Hot Damn! to a religious woman when you see how hot she looks these days.
  • Choosing to be thankful for all your body has done when you're struggling to love it.
  • Lacing up your running shoes when you don't know if your feet will make it today.
  • Letting yourself be loved when you feel unlovable.
  • Being present to your emotions when loss is gripping your chest and squeezing it tight.
  • Letting yourself receive gifts when they feel too good to be true.
  • Playing chase in the playground when you feel heavy and slow.
  • Being gentle with yourself when you're inclined to crack the whip.

What little acts of courage can you acknowledge yourself for today?  Once you write them down or say them out loud, you may see they're not so little, after all.