A lot to be said for courage …

I’d say that, as people with bipolar, one of the most difficult things we have to face is fear. We fear ramping up, we fear getting down, after a little experience with this thing we’re afraid to even feel happy, in case it’s a symptom! What’s wrong with having a little joy, for Pete’s sake! Well, because it’s gotten us into trouble sometimes.

But we also do develop a lot of strength after a while. We have to! We have to have a thick skin to tolerate all the extra lengths we have to go to to stay healthy! In my case, to deal with some of the strange looks I get, how about you? Lol…

I love words, you’ll get to know that about me if you follow me for very long. And there is something about the word courage that is really interesting to me. The online etymology (word root) website says regarding the word:
:courage (n.) Look up courage at Dictionary.comc.1300, from Old French corage (12c., Modern French courage) “heart, innermost feelings; temper,” from Vulgar Latin *coraticum (source of Italian coraggio, Spanishcoraje), from Latin cor “heart” (see heart) which remains a common metaphor for inner strength.

In Middle English, used broadly for “what is in one’s mind or thoughts,” hence “bravery,” but also “wrath, pride, confidence, lustiness,” or any sort of inclination. Replaced Old English ellen, which also meant “zeal, strength.”

The French word for “heart” is “le coeur.”

So basically, when someone tells us to “take heart,” they’re telling us, “be courageous!” Like the cowardly lion:

Cowardly Lion: Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman: Courage!
Cowardly Lion: You can say that again! Huh?

I always did have a “heart” for that lion. That little song of his:

If I were King of the Forest, Not queen, not duke, not prince.
My regal robes of the forest, would be satin, not cotton, not chintz.
I’d command each thing, be it fish or fowl.
With a woof and a woof and a royal growl – woof.
As I’d click my heel, all the trees would kneel.
And the mountains bow and the bulls kowtow.
And the sparrow would take wing – If I – If I – were King!
Each rabbit would show respect to me.
The chipmunks genuflect to me.
Though my tail would lash, I would show compash
For every underling!
If I – If I – were King!
Just King!

But we don’t need to be King – we have a King! Do you know there are 365 different references to “Fear not” in the Bible? I read that somewhere. I believe it’s true (I’ll back it up later lol). This one here is one of my favorites, and helps me to “Fear Not”:

Psalm 31:24 KJV

Be of good courage , and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
What I love about that is it reminds me that God strengthens my heart! Not me all by my own bitty lonesome. He will help me and make my heart strong! Because that’s what’s wrong with me, when I fear. And that’s what gets broken and torn apart – my heart! So, take heart! Do you realize what all we have survived already? And we don’t have to do it alone, oh thank God! I thank God for those of you who’ve been there, who share with me!
And of course, I thank God for God. I don’t think I’d be here if it weren’t for Him…

3 thoughts on “A lot to be said for courage …

    1. kbailey374 Post author

      I hadn’t thought of that – the lion symbol equating w/ courage – ironically Christ AND the devil are both referred to as lions in the Bible. As is Aslan in “The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe” series of books and movies. Aslan is considered to be a “type” of Christ, although the first few times I read it I wasn’t looking for “types,” just a story. Personally I think all of us who live w/ bipolar are lions/lionesses of courage! Oooorrroarrrr!!



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