Maya Angelou once said, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” This resonates with me and my journey as creative who is also a mother. There are days where the consistency required to do the work comes easy. Moments of friction will come to distract me from executing tasks or staying on board with being courageous. Each day that I acknowledge honestly where I am with the work I move forward. I am growing my understanding and practice of courage.
Courage is not just a virtue of bravery, it’s the daily practice of being brave. Brave enough to say no, to stand up for what you know is right, doing the necessary good when no one else will. Being a mother and medical advocate has made me grow in this way. So many moments with medical decisions gave me the practice of being courageous. It is not easy to stand up for what you know is best for your child against what a doctor or medical expert is saying. I respect that bravery is not always celebrated if those around you are not ready to see the truth that courage presents. Accepting that we may not see eye to eye I refuse to let my child’s welfare be affected by this. It takes courage to find a way to work with them respectfully and get the quality care she deserves. Willfully and faithfully standing in the truth for my child gets me further than running away.
As an artist courage is the area where I am not the most confident. I would write stories or sketch ideas and let it sit instead of continuing to work on it. Not having the courage to push the idea forward is a fault I’m facing. The lesson just repeats until the truth I run from is accepted. The work for me is to take time daily to push ideas, write new things, revise some writing, or review sketches to make paintings. Putting this work ahead of daily tasks takes courage. I have to faithfully set a time to express myself. Being less erratic in my creativity helps build my confidence in my work. Every day it gets easier to share my truth and my courage is growing.
I have the courage to stand in my personal truth. I am committed to doing the work and I don’t mind being unaccompanied if necessary. I have faith in the goodness of people and know that others on the same path will find me. My job is not to convince others to change their actions but to personally practice courage consistently.