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(I sat down to share with you that began with the title “Courageous” … then ended up with this instead.  It happens.  I’ll try to share with you my original intent soon.  In the meantime …)

I have spent much of my life thus far dealing with my fears.

All of us have fears.

Throughout most of my childhood, my fears ruled my life.  Completely.  (I won’t bore you with all the gory details … not now.)  It was, at times, debilitating.

But, the key thing is how we handle our fears.

Looking at others, I was certain that every brave thing they did was done with a total absence of fear.

The summer before I started high school I decided that my fears would no longer dictate my every waking moment.  I would do what I decide to do all while I was still scared.  My fears had not stopped.  But I would no longer let my fears stop me.

Years later, I heard a definition for courage that perfectly matched the plan I had come up with and put in place when I was 14 years old.  It went something like this …

Courage is not the absence of fear but rather it is being scared and acting in spite of it.

How awesome is that?!  I found it so freeing to know that my fears don’t make me weak.  That others have fears, not just me.  It is more a matter of what I do with my fears and how much control I let them have.

And, furthermore, I learned that I am brave.

I am brave!

I am courageous!!

And we all have the power to be brave!

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