i used to carry this little painted rock around with me in my purse. it had the word “courage” etched into it. i would find it in the bottom of my purse when i needed it and just hold it. sometimes i put it back into my purse and sometimes, when i felt i didn’t need it, i would put in somewhere else. then i would find it here or there, hold it tight, and find a new home for it again-it was just a little security, a little reminder. i have had that rock for years now. it was given to me by an unknowing stranger when i really needed courage at a terrible and confusing time in my young adulthood. i never showed it to anyone, never talked about it. but i always knew it was there as a reminder to be strong, find my courage and trust myself.
i thought of that rock yesterday because i encountered a person who made me shake and feel angry. i am not a person with a temper- sad and hurt yes, angry not so much. i felt all of that yesterday-sad, hurt, and angry- when a person attacked me and threatened my business. i became a protective mama bear ready to defend her young. i needed that courage- that reminder to be strong and trust myself and my instincts.
the thing is…i thought of the rock after the fact…this time i didn’t need to feel the weight of it, to trace the word courage with my finger. i gained my composure, thought rationally and managed the situation without my little courage rock in hand. thinking of it later, i smiled to myself- proud that i was able to summon my courage, eradicate my fears, take a deep breath, and defend myself calmly.
see, i used to shut down completely when met with anger, contempt, plain meanness and even disapproval. i am a “yes-woman”, a pleaser. i have been told i have no backbone,described as a doormat. that was then. now i am strong. i am fierce and i believe in myself! i still have an extremely difficult time saying “no”, even in the gentlest ways and for the best reasons. i am growing, though. i am learning that being able to say “no”, to stand up for myself, to be courageous and sure- those things are SO important. those things make me a better friend and businesswoman. those things make me more confident and therefore more trustworthy. they make me like me more!
so, i have found it. i have found, within myself, the courage i needed. and without my rock, this time.
and to mean people who try to take away what i have worked so hard to build up…stop it. go away. no thank you. good bye.