YOUR JOURNEY - COURAGE
Redefining well-being through the best practices of Jungian psychoanalysis
Courage – a journey of self-discovery
“What would life be, if we had no courage to attempt anything?” Vincent van Gogh
When we think of people who are courageous, we automatically think of people who have performed incredible feats of bravery. But we forget that each day we perform small acts of courage. One of the definitions of courage is, “The attitude of facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful, instead of withdrawing from it; quality of being fearless or brave; valour.”
There will be moments of discomfort but take heart in the fact that where there is great discomfort, there is great learning. Looking within can be daunting and it is often far easier to pretend that everything is fine. But we’re no longer doing easy, this month we are being fearless, we are being brave, and we will be courageous! All journeys begin and end, one step at a time. For now, think back to moments when you have been courageous. Remember, courage is facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful.
Perhaps it was that first time you rode your bike without your training wheels or the first time you caught the tube on your own. It takes courage to give love another try after your heart has been broken. Your courageous moments are there and there are plenty of them!
The courage to look within to our inner child
“In every adult there lurks a child – an eternal child, something that is always becoming, is never completed, and calls for unceasing care, attention and education. That is the part of the personality which wants to develop and become whole.” Carl Jung
There is an inner child in each one of us. Our inner child is our unconscious mind. It is the repressed feelings and memories we have held onto from our childhood. Those ones that resurface when we least expect it. They impact the way we view the world, the way we react, and the decisions we take. No matter what circumstances or situation you find yourself in, your inner child will play a part – either a positive or a negative one. Things that trigger us can often be traced back to our childhood.
It’s time to look within, it’s time to become aware of our inner child. Find a picture of yourself as a child and stick it into your journal. Look at your picture, really look at it.
- What do you see when you look into the eyes of yourself as a child?
- Are you happy?
- Do you feel safe?
- Do you feel loved?
- What are your dreams?
- What are your fears?
- What do you need?
It takes courage to look within, for some of us it can be a scary place, for some of us it can be filled with emotions and memories we would rather forget and not bring up at all. But for those of us in pain, we need to heal so that we can move forward in life and live the life we deserve – one of happiness, health, and peace.
As we go through this journey together, remember you have been courageous before and you can be courageous again!
“The cry we hear from deep in our hearts comes from the wounded child within. Healing this inner child’s pain is the key to transforming anger, sadness and fear.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“See the world through the eyes of your inner child. The eyes that sparkle in awe and amazement as they see love, magic and mystery in the most ordinary things.” Henna Sohail
Looking at that picture of yourself as a child and answering those questions – how did it make you feel?
Does your inner child need healing, does your inner child need to feel safe and loved? Or perhaps for you, you have forgotten how to see the world through the eyes of your inner child. Perhaps, you need a reminder of all the love, magic and mystery you used to be able to see.
The courage to nurture our inner child
“Healing your inner child allows your inner child’s light, strength, energy and joy to return into your present life.” Anonymous
Nurturing our inner child involves understanding his or her needs and to be able to understand these needs, you have to look within. Facing those hidden memories and feelings can bring up a host of other emotions from fear and regret to anger, sadness and pain. It can be pain from past hurts or even regrets from dreams we gave up on. Those hidden memories always come to the surface, and you can’t keep them tucked away forever. They might not rise in the form of a memory or feeling but they will rise in the form of how you react and respond to certain situations in life. It is like trying to hold one of those balls you blow up under the water, eventually, it will break the surface.
Our inner child should be the part that connects us to joy, hope, self-love and all that is good. Our inner child is that part of our subconscious that developed and experienced life before we were truly in a position to process or comprehend what really was happening. Becoming aware of our inner child can help us remember lighter, happier times and can be incredibly useful when we are confronted by challenging moments. However, not all of us remember our childhood being carefree and fun. For those of you who have experienced trauma or emotional pain, you may find your inner child feels vulnerable and needs to feel safe, loved and protected.
Our first step in nurturing our inner child is to acknowledge it. Our second step is to accept it and our third step is to nurture it. You may find it feels uncomfortable or just plain weird to think of your inner child. Don’t worry, today all you need to do is think about a few childhood memories that stand out for you. Some of them may be positive, some may be painful.
Nurturing our inner child – the gift we give ourselves
“Where your fear is, there is your task.” Carl Jung
When we nurture our inner child, we are giving a gift to ourselves. We need to stop numbing ourselves and allow ourselves to feel the full spectrum of our inner child’s emotions from happiness to sadness. The only way we can do this is to resolve past hurts and provide a space where it is safe.
Our first step is to acknowledge our inner child, those childhood memories you thought about and the emotions you felt – those belong to your inner child. To acknowledge your inner child is as easy as having a dialogue with him or her. Close your eyes for a moment and picture yourself as a child and acknowledge him or her – you can simply say, “I see you.” If you are battling, simply imagine a small child who is feeling lost or anxious or scared and speak to them, you will soon connect with your inner child.
We need to create a space where we are open and accepting of everything we were and everything we now are. We need to release all of our preconceived ideas and allow our inner child the freedom to explore. When we allow our inner child to come to the fore, we allow ourselves to heal, and we will finally be able to be at peace and feel true happiness. Nurturing your inner child is all about fun. Think back to what made you happy as a child and make a list – a big, gigantic, happy list!!!
Did you love to go for walks along the beach and build sandcastles? Did you love to draw? Did you love to write? Did you dance around the lounge imagining you were a prima ballerina?
Your mission for the rest of this week and yes, it’s a very important mission, is to go and do at least one thing from your big, gigantic list. So, grab some paints, or hire a bicycle. Go for a walk or buy some bubbles. Put on the music and dance on the couches. Do something from that list, remember how it feels to do something for no other reason than that it brings you joy!!!
“Honour your inner child by losing yourself in simple pleasures.” Anonymous
“Everything worthwhile takes time, nurturing, and love. When something isn’t working, love it more, nurture it more and give it more time.” Bryant McGill
To nurture can be defined as, “care for and protect someone or something while they are growing.” It’s time to start caring for and protecting yourself through your inner child. Create that space to have fun, to be free and try and do 1 thing on your list every week.
Nurturing also happens through words, nurture your inner child through words, through affirmations. Ask your inner child what he or she needs. If you’re stuck, start with these –
I am safe.
I am loved.
I am worthy.
I am important.
Our journey is our story
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love this quote as it reminds me to not rush through life. Besides, I still haven’t determined exactly what the final destination is You are who you are because of the journey you have travelled. Every phase of your life’s journey has led you to this moment and has helped mould you into who you are. You have lost and you have won. You have felt overwhelmed and scared at times, but you have conquered your fears and moved forward. I know this because you are here.
No matter what your journey has been up to now, you need to take the time to be grateful. Grateful for all the challenges you have faced, grateful for all of the trials and tribulations. Grateful as each part has led you here. We often get caught up remembering all the things that went wrong, the mistakes we made and the regrets we have. Yes, we get caught up in little things that don’t really matter, and we stop paying attention to things that do. We have stopped embracing and enjoying our journey.
The secret to being happy is accepting where you are right now and making the most of each day. Our journey is ours; it is our personal growth story; it is full of lessons that only we need to learn. It is full of reasons to be happy and proud of ourselves and our achievements.
If you have not been challenged, if you have not taken risks, if you have not had to overcome anything, then you have not been living! Those challenges have made you strong. Those challenges have taught you perseverance. Those challenges have revealed your courage. For it takes courage to try again, it takes courage to not give up, and it takes courage to try something new. It takes courage to face your fears.
No matter how difficult your life has been, it has also had moments of joy, of peace and of love. We all seem to find it so much easier to recall the negatives. When we focus on the negatives, they seem to have a way of outweighing the positives even if there were fewer of them. It is all down to where your focus is.
This week we’re going to look back over the journey we have travelled and how it has prepared us for the journey ahead. What are your feelings about your journey so far? What are you proud of? What would the title of your journey be?
The courage to accept where we are
“The key to realising a dream is to focus not on success but significance, and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.” Oprah Winfrey
Accepting where you are, takes courage because once again it requires you to look within. As you look back over your journey so far, there will be moments you won’t want to recall but remember those moments of discomfort provide moments of great learning. Acceptance doesn’t equate to defeat; acceptance is acknowledging where you are now. Acknowledging how far you have come, the lessons you have learned and the challenges you have overcome. It is taking the time to show gratitude for all that you have encountered along the way, good and bad.
Think of your journey as an adventure. What dragons have you slain? What Herculean tasks have you overcome? You are the star of your story. Break your life up into chapters that make sense for you. Each chapter has its own story – What made you happy? What made you sad or caused you pain and how did you get through it? What are you proud of? What did you learn? What challenges did you face and how did they make you stronger?
Write about your life but with you as the hero because that’s what you are, you are the hero of your life’s story!!!
“Our bruises and scars become armour. Our struggles become experience. They make us better.” Ryan Holiday, Courage is Calling
The rest of your life’s journey awaits. Having had the courage to look within and see where you are and what you have achieved, it’s time to take note of what you are leaving behind and what you are taking with you into your next chapter. Take your armour and experience and knowledge that you have triumphed many times before and can do so many times again.
“Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realise that the sooner we will be able to treat life as art.” Maya Angelou
Our lives are art, we capture them in words, we capture them in photos, in paintings, in things we collect. Have a look around and take note of how you have captured your life and be proud.
And have the courage to leave the things behind that no longer reflect who you are and where your journey will lead.
The courage to be yourself
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” Carl Jung
We spend so much time trying to fit in and be like everyone else that we lose ourselves. Each one of us is different, each one of us is beautiful and unique. At one time or another, we have all wanted to be like someone else, but we can’t be someone else, we are who we are. When we are not being ourselves, we land up in a conflict between who we are and who we are trying to be.
“Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.” Alan Watts
When we do things to fit in, whether it’s the way we dress, behave or speak, we are wearing a mask and hiding our authentic selves. We are not living, not really living as we aren’t free. It takes a lot of effort to be anything other than ourselves. We should always strive to be who we are.
So, what is stopping us from being ourselves? Fear, it is always fear. We may fear being rejected, we may fear being judged, and we may fear we are not good enough. But by who? Rejected by who? Judged by who? Not good enough by whose standards? We have forgotten the importance of ourselves and our views. We have placed the thoughts and views of others above our own. And so we lose ourselves.
If we think about it, those who have succeeded in life, have done so because of their uniqueness, because of their lack of fear of being different. They believed in themselves.
Are you being true to yourself? What makes you unique? What makes you beautiful? What makes you special? And “nothing” isn’t an answer! You are unique, you are beautiful and you are special but you don’t need me to tell you that, you need to tell yourself that!
Discovering your unique self
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” Carl Jung
Were you able to answer those questions? 😊
What makes you unique?
What makes you beautiful?
What makes you special?
It’s not always easy to see the beauty in ourselves. I blame society for instilling in us this constant need to be humble and not be arrogant etc. Seeing the beauty in ourselves is important as we need to embrace ourselves, we need to love ourselves. If we can’t love or appreciate ourselves, how can we expect others to?
It can feel awkward and uncomfortable at first but as with anything practice makes perfect. Grab some photos of yourself that you love. Have a look at yourself (yes, you’ve been doing that a lot this month but it’s the last time!!) and appreciate your individuality.
What do you love about yourself?
What are your strengths?
What makes you different?
What do you like doing?
What makes you laugh?
What skills do you have?
There are so many questions you can ask yourself, start with what you are comfortable with. When it comes to answering you can get creative, after all, you are an individual. You can write down the question on the top of a page and fill the space up with words or pictures that resonate with you. It doesn’t matter how you answer. Build a picture of who you are and embrace that person. Cherish that person.
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” Brené Brown
It takes courage to be yourself, it takes courage to be seen, to stand out from the crowd. Don’t hide your talents and all that you have to offer the world, our world needs individuals, our world needs you, the authentic, unique and beautiful you!! And you need the freedom to be yourself.
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” Judy Garland
And besides, if everyone was just like each other … we wouldn’t have anyone to admire, we wouldn’t have anyone to learn from, we wouldn’t have beautiful music, poetry and art and life would be pretty boring.
Back to Your Journey 2022