Sharpen Yourself Into Courage

Yesterday I realized how much courage I still need to the things I’m passionate about. There are a lot of things I’m good at that is easy for me to step into because it doesn’t require me to say anything or open up. When it comes to writing, teaching, and speaking, I sabotage myself out of doing it.

Most of the people I admire are writers, teachers, and speakers. But every time I write, teach or speak, there’s something inside of me that just wants to curl up in a fetal position and hide.

Fear is an interesting thing. It’s a signal for survival. Experiencing fear is normal and it’s actually necessary when a bear or a lion suddenly appears.

You need to run.
As fast as you can.
Or you will die.

But to run away from what I want to do? From what I’m passionate about? What is that? Where did that come from? (Sounds Paul in Romans 7 doesn’t it?)

I could chalk it off to personality but that just sound so limiting and against the whole idea of growth. Personality is moldable. I learned that from our physical therapy clinic. I don’t do the actual physical therapy work, but I’ve seen kids’ personality transform. 

The Body Keeps The Score

I co-own a clinic that specializes in physical therapy partnered with reflex integration. We have primary reflexes in our body that is meant to activate appropriately. It’s the survival mechanism of the body and it’s meant to keep us alive. It’s important that these reflexes are integrated at a young age.

At our clinic we see kids who have ADHD, depression, autism, behavioral issues, mental disorders, because we see first hand the problem didn’t begin in the mind, it began in the body. Trauma, at a young age, causes our primary reflexes, the survival mechanics of the body, to get stuck in a disintegrated state causing all kinds of issues. So what began in the body needs to be healed through the body. Isn’t that a beautiful example of the inner working of the Lord inside of us, specially for us adults and who understand the inner working of the Spirit. He’s always inviting us to self-awareness.

According to Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps The Score, there is a danger to labeling something as a personality or a psychological disorder. We begin to associate our identity and our personhood to the disorder and ignoring the problem that stuck in the body.

Who we are is shaped primarily through our environment. We learn to respond and react according to how we are treated, specially from our formative years, and our primary reflexes remembers them. Those become triggers so if a similar situation comes up later in life, we wouldn’t have to think about avoiding it. The reaction would be automatic, keeping us alive.

Most of us have an unhealthy history with fear. We behave to survive even though we aren’t in danger. And over the years, that becomes our emotional home. So who are we without fear? That’s the beauty of the gospel of the Kingdom because it invites us to build a better internal architecture – an inner sanctuary with an emotional history with righteousness built on the foundation of the love of God.

Be of Good Courage

Today I heard the Lord speak to my heart, “Sharpen yourself into courage.” I feel this is an echo of what the Angel of the Lord commanded Joshua, “to be strong and be of good courage.” It’s easy to hide behind what made us strong. It make sense. It’s comfortable. It’s familiar. But I’ve lived my life long enough to know that what I’m most intimidated by is actually what inspires me the most.

I may fail multiple times but that’s okay. I’m strengthening myself in the Lord and sharpening myself into courage. I’m growing however slowly it can feel like to me. That’s the grace I will generously and continually give to myself because if I can’t honor the work of the Spirit within me, I’ll be looking for validation outside of me.

I want to encourage you to trust His work in you as well, strengthen yourself into Him and to sharpen yourself into courage so you can do the same thing for one another. Lean in to what courage looks like for you in this season and grow through it. 

For me, I’ve been wanting to start an online community group and it’s actually really scary for me. I’ve done one before and it didn’t work out well. So my reflexes is telling me to hide and not do it. I’ve been wanting to share more of my writings, and it feels very vulnerable. It feels like I’m going to die. But I’m in leaning in growing through it facing death head on. 

What have you been hiding from that you want to confront? What intimidates you that you can turn into inspiration? Let’s face death together, and maybe, just maybe, we will experience resurrection on the other side.

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