“An Individual Develops Courage By Doing Courageous Acts”

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“An individual develops courage by doing courageous acts” — Aristotle

Fear is your brain’s pre-programmed response to something scary.  It is completely natural for a spooky thought or image to be imprinted in your head, and make it hard for you to sleep. Small amounts of fear are positive for your health, but when it takes over it can interfere with your peace and happiness. Whether you’re afraid because of a movie, a natural disaster, or even spiders, there are ways of coping.

”Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

Mark Twain

The magic happens outside your comfort zone! Well-meaning … is fraught. So what’s the scientific case to be made for doing things that scare you? … “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get … You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me.

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I begin writing this post, and then stop. I return to it the next day, only to freeze up again so that I can watch Netflix or get some ice cream or even better to do something “productive” like clean my house or catch up on sleep or read some bullshit book about how if you just think happy thoughts and watch Teletubbies your fear will go away.

I’m engaging in a dance of stupidity, but I feel that I can’t help myself. Why? Because I’m scared. I’m scared because I’ve had a mammoth amount of psychological, cultural and environmental conditioning. I spent my first few decades agonizing over what people thought of me and living a recipe comprised of one part action, five parts hiding, so it’s not hard to see how I ended up giving years of my life to everything except what was most important to me, wondering what I was doing with my life.

I was relinquishing my power repeatedly, day by day, and it felt like there was nothing I could do about it.

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I had some great “help” with this growing up. Some of my earliest memories involve being ostracized for living with a disability, wanting to die in the wake of devastating seizures, and fighting periods of debilitating depression.

As a kid, I was too afraid to do anything about it. On the surface, I appeared to be fine, but internally I was a time bomb. My life became a cataclysm of shame. I had periodic successes—moments of authenticity —but I did all I could to hide that from the world. I gave a fuck about everything I didn’t need to give a fuck about and not nearly enough of a fuck about what really mattered.

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But not now. I no longer really give a shit about what people think of me, most of the time. But here’s the kicker: I’m not in a position to say this because I’m strong, I can say this with confidence because I’m weak, and I know I’m weak.

Many people ask me how I’ve managed to create a meaningful, “successful” life, despite my losses and the daily physical and neurological challenges I face. My responses are decidedly unsexy: I’ve found power in my vulnerability, strength in my weaknesses, and resilience in my trials. I’ve forced myself to become disciplined and focused, through thousands of hours of tedious, hair-splitting practice, and by intentionally putting myself in uncomfortable, constraining environments. 

I speak to people about their struggles all the time, and the most common thread that binds most people’s adversities together is fear: fear of being judged, fear of failing, fear of abandonment, and on and on.

 

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One of my biggest issues with the personal development space is that the vast majority of responses to questions surrounding fear are grounded in mindless platitudes. People are told that if they just take responsibility for their fear or tell themselves how awesome they are every morning or follow so-and-so’s seven steps to confidence, their lives will be transformed and they’ll conquer fear forever.

Bullshit. We’ll never conquer fear. It’s literally hardwired into our brains and serves a very important evolutionary purpose. Unfortunately, we also happen to live in an age of rampant loneliness and individualism, which exacerbates the usage of our favorite cocktail of idiocy: platitudes. In so doing, we pathologize fear in a way that’s not entirely dissimilar to how we pathologize grief.

We’re happy to acknowledge people’s fears when they seem to “beat” them, but when people are paralyzed by fear we’re much quicker to ridicule and marginalize them; treating them as if there’s something wrong with their fears. This creates an ethos of humiliation, which is passed down from generation to generation in a cycle of shameful insanity.

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This ethos is horrific because it essentially says if you can’t beat your fears, you’re a loser, a coward, or a weakling. You’re not entitled to people’s respect, so piss off. This isn’t just cruel, it’s ridiculous. Why? Because our abandonment of the fearful only exacerbates the fear. And since we’re all afraid, it’s no wonder we’re all beginning every year “resolving” to move beyond our terrors only to come to the end of the year and find that we’re just as scared as we were 12 months prior. I’m not very prescriptive in my writings, because I’d much rather challenge you to think and come to your own conclusions, and the reality is that there aren’t any clear-cut answers to these types of questions.

This is ultimately what leads to our killing our fears. The caveat is that we’ll be killing them for the rest of our lives. And the only way to do that is via action in the face of fear. After all, what is courage if not the decision to take meaningful action when fear is smiling at you?  They’re simple, but not easy, so if you want these to have any real effect on your life, you actually have to do them. I’ve radically transformed my life, and I return to them regularly.

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”Love of My Life”

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”Men always want to be a woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance.” Oscar Wilde

Our first and last love is self-love. The advantage of love, at first sight, is that it delays the second sight. No, there’s nothing half so sweet in life as love’s young dream. Like an old photograph, time can make a feeling fade, but the memory of a first love never fades away.

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Why is your first love so special?

It’s the first time she smiles at you, the first time he picks you up for a date, the first time they kiss you, taking your face into their hands and pulling you in. It’s the first time you realize that you can feel this way about another person, that love the way they describe in books, on TV, and in movies is real and it’s amazing. It’s the first time you realize that another person can feel the same way about you as you do them. It’s the first time you let yourself become truly comfortable with someone else, the first time your guard comes down completely and the first time you let someone see who you are in all your entirety. It’s the first time you snort in front of them without turning bright red, the first time you feel unashamed of your body, the first time you let someone truly, completely love you.

It’s the first time you kiss someone while crying harder than you ever have before, harder than you ever knew you could. It’s the first time you realize that it’s not possible to run out of tears. It’s the first time you realize that the person who can make you the happiest is also the person who can bring you the most agony.

First love — it’s the first time you hold the bow, and let someone else pull back the arrow aimed at your chest. First love is trusting them not to let go, trusting them to protect your heart.

First love is never thinking or expecting, them to let go.

It’s called your first love because it’s also the first time you feel what happens when it’s over. It’s the first time you’ll feel as though a fist ripped through your chest and gripped your heart, pulling it out. It’s the first time you’ll cry so hard over another person, you can’t breathe. It’s the first time you’ll feel completely helpless, like a baby deer that hasn’t quite learned to walk on its own yet. It’s the first time you’ll feel like you’re reaching out to grab something, then realizing it’s smoke, and it disappears between your fingers. 

It’s the first time you blame yourself for something that perhaps wasn’t even your fault — maybe it was, but you’ll never know for sure — and it’s also the first time you’re entirely responsible for the way you feel.
It’s the first time you put yourself at fault for loving too much. You blame yourself for throwing yourself completely into the relationship, for letting yourself become absorbed into them, for thinking your first love was going to be your last love. It’s the first time you give more than you have to make another person happy, but at the time it was okay, or so you thought, because their happiness was your happiness and in assuming you’d be together forever, you believed that as long as you kept them happy, you’d be happy. This is the first time you blame yourself for caring too much and, in doing so, losing yourself.

One of the core reasons why first love is hard to forget is because it is pure and innocent. … This blissful feeling of first love can never be replicated because once innocence is lost on a personal level, it can never be translated in its purest form in another relationship. This is what makes it so special.
It’s the first time you realize that another person can feel the same way about you as you do them. … it’s also the first time you feel what happens when it’s over. It’s the first time you’ll feel as though a fist ripped through your chest and gripped your heart, pulling it out.
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Why is it so hard to forget my first love?

First love is special because it is the most innocent and pure form of love. No matter how hard you try, you will never stop missing your first love. Boy and girl in a first love relationship will forever remember the hugs, cuddles, holding hands, sweet whispers, late night conversations and the romantic strolls. The beautiful memories of this once in a lifetime experience will linger in your heart and mind after your breakup, for the rest of your life.

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What does it mean to have your first love?

Your first love would be someone that you felt true love with, doesn’t necessarily have to be your first bf/gf, just someone you think you have a real connection. It consists of the feeling of depth when having the simplest of conversations.

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The Truth: You Never Stop Loving Your First Love:-

And then I went on talking about how she didn’t love me because if you love someoneyou don’t give up on them so easily, and so many times for that matter. But either way, it made sense. You really never do stop loving your first – and for me, I naturally love hard. … I loved her.

The reason first love stories are so compelling to read is that there is something so powerful about a young love experience. Is it because it happens when our hearts are still innocent and pure — before that first inevitable heartbreak? Or is it because once that huge flame dies out, a few warm embers remain to keep the memory aglow?

It’s true, too, that we tend to get even more sentimental as we age, especially about memories of long ago. An unfinished love keeps some allure for many years.

Whatever keeps those tender feelings in play, some long to have that feeling again as evidenced by those who go in search of that first love. With social media around now, it is not difficult to do.

Although we did not end up together, we are still in touch as friends. It is the kind of sentimental friendship you would feel for a best friend from way back when. So many shared experiences make for great fun in reminiscing.

The only thing truly unique about my own story is that I found a soul mate so young — a romanticist like me and a renaissance girl in the middle of a large urban high school in a working-class neighborhood.

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But First love hurts:-

When first love ends, you wonder if you even knew what love even was. You wonder if what you had was real or if you felt that way (or if they felt that way) because that’s what the movies told you to feel. When first love ends, you are left feeling lost and alone, sad and confused, and absolutely hopeless.

When first love ends, it leaves you second-guessing yourself, your self-worth, who you even are. When first love ends, you realize that there’s now a hole in your heart, an absence, space, something missing. You acknowledge that you’ll adjust, that your heart will shrink back, even though you don’t feel like it will. But when it does shrink back, it will always be a little loose where your first love used to be. There will be scars, and they won’t go away.

When first love ends, you feel like you’re drowning, desperately gasping for air, reaching for help, but the hand you’ve trusted for so long is the one pressing you down, keeping you under.

But first love is not only love. It’s not the best love or the last love. First love is first, and it’s wonderful and amazing and new, but first is not synonymous with forever. And first is definitely not connected, whatsoever, to a final. It’s called your first love because it’s just that — your first. Not you are last.