I’ll hazard a guess that many of us have found a certain lack of courage from time to time. Our courage has failed us. I don’t necessarily mean about big things, like going into battle, rather a lack of courage in the relatively small things. We may have known what was the “right” thing to do when faced with a moral dilemma but failed to do it so as not to stand out from the crowd or put our neck out. Risk averse we let things slip, for fear of exposure. We might have loved someone and yet never told them or shown them. There may have been something which we would like to explore or do yet bottled it. We may have been hoping for that “right time” which never materialised. And so, whatever it was slowly fades into regret-world painted with a melancholy hue. Before long regret-world has a whole wardrobe full of regrets, each on a hanger taking up space. Maybe we chose to indulge in being an asshole, when we could have been kind. Perhaps we sought vengeance for an imagined slight and ruined a relationship. There can be all kinds of regrets. But I reckon that there is a good chance that a lack of courage had a hand in many of these, not big courage, little courage relating to relatively minor things.
This leads to the unresolved, the unrequited and the undone. Garments we might find in the wardrobe of regrets, in every house across the land.
That elusive “right time”, never comes along to the bus stop of life or maybe it does, and we simply do not seize it, for lack of courage. Another one will be along soon, only it won’t.
A lack of courage can cause more trouble than the risk which was avoided. It can be generative of mess and wreckage in life. The fear unfaced most often grows and can become debilitating. We know when our spine has been weak and before long we can no longer stand straight, proud even. Each time we surrender to our fears, we stoop a little more, we bend, and we sag. Maybe we fail a friend in their hour of need, maybe we are terrified of a social faux pas. Most of all there is that fear of losing face, of loss of control. Our heart remains locked in our chest and is never out on our sleeve. And so, we fail to experience what we might have done, there is a hole, a vacuum where it may have been.
We may have been shabby and off, where we might have been brave and upstanding. There are many regrets in life, which is a shame.
Having cued this up, take a look in your wardrobe of regrets:
Have there been times when my courage has failed me?
Was it this, that gave birth to regret?
Are those fears which so inhibit me, actually real?