Like the moment when a friend succeeds and you swell and burst right alongside them and then you go home to find yourself now less, somehow.
Or the moment when your child is playing with abandon alongside his buddy and you smile at their joy and their innocence, but you are quiet down deep because you notice the differences and, deeper still, you note their importance.
But discouragement can also be the elephant in your heart, taking up all the important space and crowding out the truth...seeing snapshots of moments and mistaking them for ironclad declarations when they aren't anything more than images on paper, yellowing and curling.
Discouragement has lurked long and quiet in my house and I, like the dysfunctional mother that I can be, have secretly slipped it food and shelter, thinking that some small act of servitude was, at the very least, deserved, if not warranted. I've accepted this entity and provided it safe harbor. Not unlike the obnoxious, insensitive relative who comes to visit without warning and then proceeds to speak too big and walk too loud and, as per the usual, I haven't been bold enough to put an end to it.
But I find that the time has come for some tough love.
I need courage in this life of mine and I'd rather not cohabitate with the force that strives to deprive me of it.
So, how then shall I live?
If discouragement is the strong arm that has taken away my guts, then perhaps my only choice is
to choose to live in courage.
That's right. In + Courage = place where one is heartened, supported, spurred on...
I want to live in that place. I want to build community in that neighborhood.
I need to stop looking for the glitches in the matrix and start looking for what is at hand.
And what is at hand
Because at the end of my fingertips are little boys who are quickly becoming bigger boys and, yes, they are at my side, every.waking.moment...but it is all so good. And where they are, there is inspiration.
And before there were little men, there was the man and oh, how I love him! He, who works for far less than he deserves, just so he can be with us more.
He, who is brilliant in mind and heart and never, ever lets it shine brighter than those he holds dear.
He, who sees me in the night and reaches for me, still, in the morning light.
Oh, how good that is!
I need to stake my claim in the land that builds me up and makes me stronger. In the place where
real people choose to live...
among whom are:
friend people, who see me at my darkest and choose, not to snuff out my smoldering wick but, rather, to relight my candle...
joy people, who know that happiness is not a destination or even a goal but more, a by-product of a life focused on people and gold-laced sunsets and crisp apples and the sound of gravel underneath tires...
love people, who make it their business to clothe me in undeserved fidelity and, by so doing, whisper secrets onto the wings of butterflies and, thus, forever change the spinning of the world.
Yes. I will choose to live inside of courage.
And I will wear a cape.